Thursday, April 3, 2014

Doing Good (Luke 6:33)

If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. (Luke 6:33 NASB)

This series of lessons from Luke 6 are focused on the "love your neighbor" teachings. The verse for today's study is one of three that teaches what loving your neighbor is NOT. Jesus repeatedly calls us to love the unlovely, the unfriendly, the unkind. He calls us to go beyond loving those who love us.  We are to love those who not only do not love us, but also those who hate us. It's the most difficult kind of love. 

Today, we see that this very hard love is not simply doing good to those who do good to you. Even sinners, He said, do that. The first thought, on reading this verse, is that we are all sinners. (As Romans 3:23, written years after the resurrection of Christ, teaches us, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) Indeed, we are all sinners, but the word here translated as sinners is hamartōlos, indicating one who is a chronic sinner, one who is devoted to sin. In other words, even the worst of the worst people are good to those that are good to them. 

We are to go beyond what the one who is not constrained by Christ would do. We are to rise to a higher standard of love. It was while we were sinning, doing the worst that we could do, that Christ willingly died for us. We will not, of course, die on the cross for the sin of the world, for that job has been done once and for all. We are, however, called to love ceaselessly and give limitlessly. Are you loving that way?

Today, as a gift to Christ, make an effort to do good to the least lovely, most difficult person you encounter today, and don't tell another soul. 

Pray that our loved ones will be drawn to Christ because of the great goodness they see in His people. 
Here's the link to last night's post. Feel free to share it.