43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:3-12, is known as the beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus teaches His followers you are blessed if you practice these characteristics of Christ. But I don’t think the blessings stop at verse Matthew 5:12, just because Jesus stops saying you are blessed. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, comes to an end with verses 43-48. Jesus doesn’t use the word blessed, but He does say there is a reward, if you & love our enemies. It is very easy to love people who treat us with love & respect & have similar beliefs. But when it is really difficult to someone abuse us or as scripture says persecutes me & you. God is loving & He blesses all of creation somehow, as Jesus says in Matthew 5:45 causing the sun to shine on all & send rain down on good & evil, so who doesn’t benefit from God’s amazing love. So if the Lord shows love to all & some of them hate the God you love, He is asking you to love them also. The Emotion of hate is not tolerated according to the Word of God, if you hate someone & that means anyone, the Word of God, cause your love for God, a lie.
Jesus teaches His followers, there is no reward in loving those who love you, but rather then loving those who hate you & me. He asks you & me to take time & pray for those who would have no problem abusing me & you. Speaking for myself, it is very easy to hold a grudge & simply hate who has persecuted us, the Lord knows it a blessing to not hold a grudge, cause it is unhealthy to a person physically & mentally. Forgiveness comes with health blessings, a grudge gives health damages. One health damage is depression, which causes someone’s mental state to forget the past & heal. There is also health damage to an unforgiving person’s heart. Years of bitterness, anger, & rage cause a health stress, which with more stress on the heart can cause a cardiac arrest, a heart attack in simple terms, which can kill someone, which there is no reward in death.
Jesus knows us better then we know what is a blessing & reward for me & you. The reward of loving our enemies is physical & spiritual. If we practice hate, the reward is death & damnation, to suffer like the father of hate ,Satan. When Jesus returns, He brings the reward with the tree of life, which heals & those who eat from it never die, can I get Amen, for those who love their enemies & a prayer request for those who don’t. God bless you all, the Lord Jesus loves you & so do I. Sam H.
Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.