Matthew 5:38-48

The question of Jesus was, “what are you doing more than anyone else?”  That is a powerful and challenging question.  Jesus always seemed to quickly wade through the veneer and superficial and get to the crux of the matter.  He could penetrate the hardest of hearts with deep soul-searching penetrating questions or statements.  That is something often missing in today’s religious circles.

In this particular situation, he looked at the subject of love through the actions of the world and then as demonstrated by believers. He did that through the question, “What are you doing more than others?”  If we love only those who openly love us and do for those who can reciprocate, that is what the world does, so Jesus challenges that attitude among believers. 

The implied truth is, that a follower of Christ is expected to do more!  As we attempt to examine the record, we find unmistakable evidence that Jesus and His followers were different.  We also discover that we are to be like Him, for as He is, so are we in this world.  His followers did “more than others.”  Or more than those who were unbelievers. There was a marked difference between the followers of Jesus and unbelievers.  They were different!

We must keep in the forefront of our minds the reality that Jesus came to earth at a cost to Himself far beyond our ability to comprehend.  He came to do something for us that we could never do for ourselves.  It was for the Joy that was set before Him that He endured the Cross despising the shame. (Hebrews 12:2).

The immediate question is, “What difference does the Cross make in us?”  A second question, could be, “What makes Christians different and special?”  There is no question that the Bible teaches that the followers of Christ are a different breed of people.  They act differently, live differently, and think differently.  I would suggest that if there is nothing different and special then we might need to reexamine our condition.  We are vessels of honor, useful for the Kingdom.

It is extremely clear that the difference between a person who is a believer and one who is not is as visible in our day as it was in the day of Jesus walking on earth.  In many ways, our society has become leavened by some Christian teaching and preaching that there are multitudes of people who demonstrate some Christian attitudes and actions even if they do not acknowledge Jesus as Savior.  However, I contend that there is a distinctive difference between those who know and follow Jesus and those who do not.  I believe that the fruit is apparent. 

Some years ago, I heard the story of a young girl in India who revealed her impression of Christians by saying, “They are the folks who are different.”  I also believe that just as there is a difference between a person who is a Christian and one who is not, there is a kinship between one Christian and another.  That is unless we become tainted by sectarian bias and consider other believers not of our following the enemy.   Genuine Christians are more alike than any other group of people. 

That begs another question, “What is distinctive about genuine Christianity?”  I want to attempt to answer those questions but will pause here and wait for the next devotional to proceed. 

Until then, I pray that the blessings of the LORD will be upon you, and you will experience His incredible Peace, Presence, and Power!  Have a Great Day!

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