Luke 6:[35] But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and 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.

“Like father, like son”. like many old sayings, that one is based on a certain amount of truth and Jesus gives it a great endorsement right here. He has just said that the reason we should be willing to love our enemies, do good to others and lend to people without expecting repayment, is because in doing so we will receive great reward. In other words, future reward from God is meant to be an incentive to us to obedience. But Jesus gives a second reason as well. By loving our enemies, doing good to others and lending knowing we may never see the money again, we will be “sons of the Most High”.

This is not saying that doing good earns us eternal life. To be a son is to have the characteristics of, to be similar to. “Like father, like son”. It means that when we behave like this we are imitating God.

God gets some very critical coverage these days and it has always been the case that He does. But Jesus is plain here. God loves His enemies, does good to those are not good to Him and lends, knowing that He will never get anything back. He won’t even be acknowledged for the benevolence.

Every believer knows that God loves His enemies – because He loves them. Before we were saved we were not on a quest for God. We were running away from God. We were rebels. We hated God, even if we did not know it. If we can tell stories about our search for God it is because He first sought us. God did not choose the “A” Team when He chose us.

The Bible drips with examples of this. Jacob, the second son, a schemer, a real rogue. Moses, a murderer. Gideon, a coward. David, the youngest son and eventual murderer and adulterer and liar. And consider the Twelve! Self centered, self righteous, self protective. And then there is the Apostle Paul, on his way to put believers to death. God loved them all.

And He loved us. And there is not a single thing you can point to that explains why He should have. We can never love our enemies to the degree that God loved us. The reason Jesus can call us to such a high calling is because we have already been the recipients of the very thing that we are being called to demonstrate. The problem with our inability to love like Jesus says is not because the call is too hard. It is because we don’t know God as well as we should.

We need to grow up in our understanding of His holiness and sovereignty and immensity and then couple those traits up with His mercy, His grace, and His nearness. We need to look at the cross and not ever grow accustomed to what is happening there. Those who are loved much will love very much. And if we cannot love our enemies we are shouting to the world that we are ignorant of something far greater done for us than what we have been called to do ourselves. Loving our enemies is not too tall an order for us to obey. It is simply God telling us what has already been done for us so that we can do something similar for others and demonstrate what God is like to the world. The response to this commandment from Jesus is not incredulity. It is gratitude.