By Pastor Alex Ruelo
A lot of people will do everything for love. Many people do everything because they think they will be loved. While it is very easy to love someone who loves you and who is lovable, it is most difficult to love or even like someone who is not. But Luke 6:32-36 says, ““If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 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. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Jesus asked three questions in these verses: 1. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?, 2. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?, 3. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? All of those questions have similar points. Are you loving, good and generous only in situations wherein you will get the same things in return? There is nothing impressive if you do the latter. There is a saying, “if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours too.” But Jesus said, even sinners do the same. They do good to those who do good to them, just like you. God set a standard higher than that of the world’s to say that His followers are better than those who are not.
The world thinks that every religion is the same. When you look at it, they do look the same. Everyone needs to be good and good to others. But it is more important to look at the differences and not the similarities. All religions teach you to love. In Luke 6, you are taught about the Golden Rule. Confucianism says, “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself.” Buddhism states, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Hinduism says, “Do nothing to others you would not have them do unto you.” And Judaism states, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.” But all of these are negative statements. They tell you what not to do so others will not do the same things to you. They focus on the bad that you are not supposed to do. Christianity differs in this worldview. It believes that you will be worthy not because of what you do but because of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. While Muslims says, “Desire for his brother that which he desires for himself,” it is simply a desire and not an action. Terrorism is rampant because it directed only to your brother. They do not like other denominations.
The Golden Rule says “do to others what you want others to do to you.” The Bible asks you to do good; not NOT to do bad. The problem with the Golden Rule is that it is only read. The context is not understood. Jesus has put a higher standard in place.
The human standard tells you to do good to others so that they will do good to you. But Jesus tells you to do good and love those who do bad to you. Is that mentioned in other religions? No. Only Christianity tells you that. Jesus has set a higher standard for His followers. He tells them to do good to those who hate you and love your enemies too. If you love those who love you, how do you differ from other religions? They also love and do good. Jesus tells you to bless those who curse you, pray for those who hurt you and give your other cheek if someone slaps you on the other. If someone asks for your coat, give your shirt too. Give to anyone who asks and when things are taken away from you, do not get them back. And then He says to do to others as you would like then to do to you. God gave three examples.
Even sinners love their friends - (Luke 6:32) Even bad people can love those who love them. Jesus asks you to love not only those who love you, but those who do not love you as well. If someone loves you, love them back. It is a good thing to return the love of those who love you most. But you do not get credit for that. So love the unlovable too. The Greek word for credit is “charis,” the same Greek word used for grace, which means undeserved. If you are gracious enough to love those who do not deserve your love, you get credit for that if you do it from the heart.
Even sinners do good to friends - (Luke 6:33) This is easier said than done. Everybody can do good to those who are nice to them. But Christianity does good even to those who hurt them. No matter what.
Even sinners lend to friends - (Luke 6:34) Borrowing is discouraged in church, because it can destroy a lot of relationships. But the Bible tells you to lend without expecting anything in return. in the book of Acts, the Christians sold all of their possessions and gave them to those in need. Jesus gave His life for you. Did He ask for anything in return? Lend without expecting anything in return. So lend wisely and only out of abundance.
Cicero said, “Kindness must not be shown to a youth nor to an old man; not the aged because he is likely to die before he can repay you and not to the youth because he is likely to forget.” This is very wrong. The world teaches you to do good where it can benefit you. That is not the principle of Christianity and the Jesus you follow.
The Divine Standard tells you to “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be paid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great. And you will truly be acting as children of the most high. For he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:33-36) Jesus raised the bar. He asks you to love, do good and lend to your enemies. The love that you experienced is true love coming from God. Therefore, that is the love that you are expected to give away. Extend a hand to those who hurt you. The Golden Rule is correct. But God has a Platinum Rule. The former only does good. The latter obeys what God asks you to do. The former is selfish, because it only does good to those who do good to you. The latter tells you to do more than that; do good without expecting anything in return.
People in the ministry get burned out because they serve others for themselves and not for God. When they serve others, nobody serves them. When they sacrifice for others, nobody sacrifices for them. When they help others and they need help, nobody helps them. But if you obey the Platinum Rule, serving and giving and loving others without expecting anything in return, they you are happy simply because. God knows there has to be a reward. And there is a reward. In heaven. And the reward will be very great. Eternal life is free, but you have to work for your rewards in heaven. Jesus paid for your ticket to heaven, but you need to earn your rewards in heaven. You have to work for it fervently. It is the key to learning obedience to God. He knows you like to be rewarded, even if you say you are doing this for the Lord and you are not expecting anything in return.
This is how God acts. It is not a principle of the world. (Luke 6:35) if you do good without expecting anything in return, it is God’s work. If you do it, you become the representative of God and man can see God through you. You become His representative. You will be incomparable with other religions, standing out because you did good even if they persecuted you. They will see God’s work in you. And your mission will be completed.
Luke 6:36 says, “You must be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.” The moment you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you received the sonship of God. If you claim that you are the son of God, then you obey Him. You do good with a higher calling, not expecting anything in return. You are the representative of your Father on earth. When people realize there is a God because you did good to them, then you have served your purpose. Do not live by the Golden Rule; live by the Platinum Rule. Act godly. Live faithfully. And your Father will be please.