“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
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. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
The selfless and sacrificial love that Jesus teaches us about in this passage is so different than the love that most of us have experienced in life. Most of the love we have experienced is reciprocal - when we tell some one "I love you" we are offended if they do not reply in kind. We love so that we are loved in return and love becomes a quid pro quo codependent situation that is very foreign to the divine love that our Lord speaks of in this passage.
Consider how Jesus instructs us to love: " love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return" and "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful". These words challenge me to the very core because they require me to love the way that God loves. They require me to forgive when an apology is not offered and to give when my flesh does not want to. This divine love elevates me and calls me upward to be a son of the Most High.
Bring transformation today Lord. Cause me to love like you love.