Merciful Father

by | A Sidenote

Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great…”

Why should I love my enemies?

Here’s one major reason we weren’t able to delve into fully in this past Sunday’s sermon on Luke 6:27–36:

Because you should want to look like your Father.

Look at the rest of v. 35: “and you will be sons of the Most High.”

If you love your enemies, you will be sons of God. Think about that. About all the implications!

Now, Jesus is not saying this is how you earn your right into the family. (v. 36, God is already your Father!) Jesus is saying this is how you show you’re in the family. It’s like he’s saying “You will be sons of the Most High indeed”—like when my son does something that looks a lot like me, my sister might say “Oh my goodness, that is definitely YOUR son.” Loving your enemies is how you demonstrate the family resemblance.

Do you see this as the kind of love God has called you to grow up into as a Christian? If you love your Father in heaven, you should want people to say you look like him—that you love like him. And he, in loving mercy, wants and works for the good—even of those who are dead-set against him.

Think about his kindness to the ungrateful and evil; think about his mercy:

35b: You will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

This is why Christians are commanded to be kind to the wicked—because God is kind to the ungrateful and evil.

Consider how he’s kind to the ungrateful and evil:

Every day, for thousands of years, God has filled the world with beauty and let people who ignore him have it. He has filled the world with wonders, and let people who hate him enjoy them.

The people who vilified the Son of God and secured his crucifixion went back to warm homes and enjoyed roast lamb and laughed with their children and looked up at the stars and breathed in deep, refreshing air—all gifts from the God whose Son just died by asphyxiation.

All over the planet, since the dawn of time, rebels against the Creator run and eat and joke; enjoy married love and dawdle at the seaside and play soccer and feel the satisfaction of a job well-done and the thrill of romance and the joy of family and the ecstasy of adventure and the simple pleasures of coffee and donuts and music and dance—and the breath-taking beauty of the sunrise—

And every single one of these things are from the hand of the God we’ve hated and His Son whom we killed. He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

And you, Christian…will you choose not to be? No—Christ does not leave that open to us:

v. 36 “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Mercy. O, what mercy he calls us to show: rather than treating people as they deserve to be treated—we treat them…how? Here we come to the is deepest rationale for loving our enemies, brothers and sisters: We are called to treat them…as we have been treated by God. We are to show them mercy, as our Father is merciful…Because the fact that Jesus would call God our Father—and the price he paid to secure such an adoption—is the highest mercy of all.

Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:10: “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son”