Scripture: Matthew 5: 43-48
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (part of verse 43) We all have a tendency to be exclusive in some way or another. We are at times unable to help it. We may realise it at the time, or shortly after, or even perhaps before. By and large, we look to be with those who are like us, who think as we do, who see the world as we do. Yet when our world only revolves around this group of people then perhaps we are “loving those who love us”. In these passages Jesus asks us to think, to see and to act beyond ourselves. Do you? Can you? Will you?