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Reckless Love

Love Loves Everybody Always  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are to love the world the same unrestricted, complete love of God.

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Context:

In a sermon Jesus preaches in , called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes six statements beginning with the words, “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you.”
In these six statements Jesus is explaining what righteousness, goodness looks like beyond what the Scribes and Pharisees require (what was common customs and beliefs of the day).
In each of these Jesus is calling His disciples to do something different, something deeper, something more radical than what culture expected of them (what was the social norm).
Transition: In the last of these six statements, Jesus is going to teach us that about God’s desire for us to love other.s

I. God Desires Us To Love Others

A. Context

In these six statements Jesus is explaining what righteousness, goodness looks like beyond what the Scribes and Pharisees require (what was common customs and beliefs of the day).
In each of these Jesus is calling His disciples to do something different, something deeper, something more radical than what culture expected of them (what was the social norm).

I. Our Natural Inclination Is Retaliation

A. Our Model (vs. 43)
Matthew 5:43 TNIV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
Pharisees taught sone should love those near and dear to him - “Love your neighbor” ()

A. The Teaching Of The Age

Pharisees taught that one should love those near and dear to them - “Love your neighbor” ()
Pharisees implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies - “Hate your enemies” = Not found in Scripture
“Hate your enemies” (No Scripture) =
Pharisees implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies
“Hate your enemies” = Not found in Scripture
Pharisees implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies
However, both were common teachings in Jesus’ age and both are still common today

B. Who are our enemies?

Who are our enemies?
None of us want enemies, most of us want to me be liked
Personal enemies
People who have wronged (stolen, cheated you), hurt us (physically, emotionally), people of differing political positions, people who do things you don’t agree with
Christian enemies
Matthew 10:25 ESV
It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
In other words, if Jesus got criticized, how much more you?
Luke 6:26 TNIV
Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
2 Timothy 3:12 TNIV
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
If you are a follower of Christ Jesus, Paul says you will be persecuted.
As the American Western culture continues to collapse around us and as we take Biblical stands over against worldly stands, all the more will we be maligned, will accused of things that are just not so.
The question is, how will we respond to those adversaries, those naysayers?
The question is, how will we respond to those adversaries, those naysayers?
Even within the church steeped in religious “righteous indignation”
Even within the church steeped in religious “righteous indignation”
Hate the sin, love the sinner…except we don’t…not really
The Bible Knowledge Commentary 5:43–48. (Luke 6:27–28, 32–36)

The Pharisees taught that one should love those near and dear to him (Lev. 19:18), but that Israel’s enemies should be hated. The Pharisees thus implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies.

II. God Desires The Opposite...That We Love

Matthew 5:44 TNIV
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:
Default position
(vs. 44)
What does it mean to love?
Greet them
Matthew 5:47 TNIV
And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Graciously greet them (seems simple but this text is to apply to all of life)
Greeting your non-brothers is one form of love Jesus has in mind here
Greeting your non-brothers is one form of love Jesus has in mind here
Heartfelt “expressions of desire for the other person’s welfare.”
Show mercy by meeting their physical needs
Matthew 5:45 TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
In this case love is very practical efforts to meet a person’s physical needs
Sun and rain are the two things that need to grow to produce food for humans (God is merciful)
Romans 12:20 TNIV
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Loving your enemies means practical acts of helpfulness in the ordinary things of life (lending - :35)
Pray for them
s
“love” here refers to “generous, warm, costly self-sacrifice for another’s good.”
Quote: “Prayer for your enemies is one of the deepest forms of love, because it means that you have to really want that something good happen to them. You might do nice things for your enemy without any genuine desire that things go well with them. But prayer for them is in the presence of God who knows your heart, and prayer is interceding with God on their behalf. It may be for their conversion. It may be for their repentance. It may be that they would be awakened to the enmity in their hearts. It may be that they will be stopped in their downward spiral of sin, even if it takes disease or calamity to do it. But the prayer Jesus has in mind here is always for their good.” - John Piper
Jesus
Luke 23:34 TNIV
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Stephen
Matthew 5:45b TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Acts 7:60 TNIV
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Prove that you are a child of God
These actions do two things:
Matthew 5:45 TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Prove that you are a child of God
Not saying that you must first become a person who loves his enemies before you can be a child of God
You are a child of God by acting the way your Father acts
Another clue to this is found in
Matthew 7:16–17 TNIV
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Why?
Matthew 5:45 TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:45b TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
It reveals something of the way God is. God is merciful
Matthew 5:45b TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Psalm 103:10
Psalm 103:10 TNIV
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
Matthew 5:45 TNIV
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
It positionally makes us
Transition:

II. God Desires That We Love Like He Loves

II. Human Nature Seeks The Easy Way Out

A. We Like To Take The Easy Way Out

Love Those Who Are Nice To Us
Matthew 5:46 TNIV
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
Love People Who Are Like Us
Matthew 5:47 TNIV
And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Almost all take the
Love Those When It’s Easy
Luke 6:34 TNIV
And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
Luke 6:34
Tax collectors and pagans, two groups classically despised by orthodox Jews—the first for working for Rome in collecting tribute from Israel and the second because of their false religion.
All people look after their own.
Transition: But, no matter how we feel about it...
Transition: The true test of genuine faith is how believers treat those who they are naturally inclined to hate or who mistreat or persecute them. That is because...

B. God Loves Everybody Always

Matthew 5:48 TNIV
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
“Perfect” = Mature, whole - i.e. loving without limit
(vs. 48)
Love Without Limits
The Pharisees
The Bible Knowledge Commentary 5:43–48. (Luke 6:27–28, 32–36)

The Pharisees taught that one should love those near and dear to him (Lev. 19:18), but that Israel’s enemies should be hated. The Pharisees thus implied that their hatred was God’s means of judging their enemies.

Jesus is challenging us to grow in obedience to God’s will, to become more like Him
vs. 44)
Love without expecting anything back
Luke 5:35 TNIV
But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”
Jesus
vs. 45a)
The New American Commentary: Matthew 2. Paradigmatic Preaching: The Sermon on the Mount (5:1–7:29)

People who so love and greet their enemies and pray for their persecutors thus prove themselves to be those, as in v. 9, who are growing in conformity to the likeness of their Heavenly Father (v. 45).

We are to love others in such a was as it points others to the love of our Savior.
vs. 45b)
The Bible Knowledge Commentary 5:43–48. (Luke 6:27–28, 32–36)

God loves them; He causes His sun to rise on them and He sends rain to produce their crops. Since His love extends to everyone, Israel too should be a channel of His love by loving all.

vs. 46)
The New American Commentary: Matthew 2. Paradigmatic Preaching: The Sermon on the Mount (5:1–7:29)

Whatever emotions may be involved, “love” here refers to “generous, warm, costly self-sacrifice for another’s good.”

The New American Commentary: Matthew 2. Paradigmatic Preaching: The Sermon on the Mount (5:1–7:29)

“Greet” (v. 47) refers to more than a simple hello, namely, heartfelt “expressions of desire for the other person’s welfare.”

vs. 48)
The New American Commentary: Matthew 2. Paradigmatic Preaching: The Sermon on the Mount (5:1–7:29)

“Perfect” here is better translated as “mature, whole,” i.e., loving without limits (probably reflecting an underlying Aramaic tamim). Jesus is not frustrating his hearers with an unachievable ideal but challenging them to grow in obedience to God’s will—to become more like him. J. Walvoord rightly observes, “While sinless perfection is impossible, godliness, in its biblical concept, is attainable.” But such godliness cannot be comprehensively formulated in a set of rules; the ethics of the sermon are suggestive, not exhaustive. The parallel passage in Luke (6:36) uses synecdoche (the use of a part for the whole) to capture the essence of God’s image in which we are being renewed, namely, mercy (cf. Exod 34:6–7a). Even as God sets higher standards in his new covenant than in the law, he reveals himself as more forgiving of our failures.

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