Read Matthew 5:43-48
Love your enemies and so prove yourself to be what you are—a child of God. That is, show you are a child of God by acting the way your Father acts. If you are his, then his character is in you, and you will be inclined to do what he does. God loves his enemies—the evil and the unrighteous—in sending rain and sunshine on them instead of instant judgment. Love your enemies and so show that God is your Father.
JESUS said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Notice two things: one is that Jesus speaks to his disciples and calls God their Father. He does not say, “He may your Father.” He says, “He your Father.” Second, notice that when people see the good works of the disciples (like loving their enemies); they give glory to our Father. Why? Because our Father is in us helping us and enabling us to do the good works. If we did the good works on our own so that we could then become children of our Father, the world should see our good works and give us the glory. So Jesus not only says that God is already the Father of the disciples, but this is the very reason that they can do the loving works they do. The light that they let shine IS the light of their Father’s love within them.
JESUS shared the parable of the prodigal son. And the point was: I don’t eat with sinners because I like sin. I eat with sinners because I am the love of God welcoming home poor, helpless, diseased sinners—forgiving them, cleansing them, making them new, and sending them out to love in the power of God.
During this Lenten season we wildly celebrate the resurrection of JESUS because we were the helpless, diseased sinners GOD welcomed home as He forgave us, cleansed us and made us new. And we can celebrate because He calls us out to share that same Good News with others like us.
JESUS is Risen . . . !