"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." [Matthew 5:45].
Not long ago, I felt compelled to delve into Matthew 5:45. I wanted to know what the words in this particular scripture actually mean and how readers could incorporate this powerful scripture into their daily lives. In the King James' version of the Bible, Jesus' words are set apart and penned in red ink to delineate for readers, the Son of God's actual words. However, I often hear people misconstrue the last line of the verse. They say, and I'm inclined to agree with writer Jess Dole, who has also noted that the majority of us refer to this scripture incorrectly. Let's remember that our Lord and His mercy endures forever. Unfortunately, we say, "Well, you know, God lets it rain on the just and the unjust," and based on the tone of their voices and the context from which it's taken – that's meant to be a negative – that's not the case.
Jesus meant this in a very positive way. For example, if you're enjoying a day at the beach or a picnic in the park, you probably don't want it to rain. But farmers looked for, and continue to hope for rain. Rain helps to ensure healthy crops. Rain, as you know, serves a useful purpose.
So Jesus wasn't saying in Matthew 5:45 that God sends bad things upon the just as well as the unjust, at all. Quite the opposite – God sends sunshine for those who are evil as well as those who are good. And, rain falls upon the just as well as the unjust.
Notice that Jesus started out by saying, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those you hate you." Love, bless, do good – not just for your friends – but for your enemies as well. That's God's way, and when we follow it, we demonstrate that we are sons of the Father. The word, "sons" speaks of our maturity, and our love and kindness toward our enemies. It shows that we are indeed members of God's family – we're actually living up to the family name.
There are, without a doubt, battles and negative circumstances which God's people must face, even as the unjust do. But they don't come from God. God sends only good gifts [James 1:17]. So, when He sends the sun, it's intended to bless everyone. When He sends the rain, it's to do good, even to the unjust – always keep that in your thoughts.
God wants us to bless others. When He blesses us, it's not an individual blessing – rather, it's for everyone who's around us. He blesses with such abundance that we cannot help but share with others. His blessings are designed for their benefit as well as ours, for the goodness of God leads to repentance [Romans 2:4].
We are all called to partner with God when he bestows His blessings upon us. We are obligated to demonstrate our love, even to our enemies, to bless even those who curse us, to do good deeds by them, even to those who hate us. That's what it means to be "grown up" in the Lord, and everyone will see the greatness of our Father – He blesses everyone!
It will continue to rain on all of us; the sun will shine on all of us. And in the day of harvest, the Master will separate the just from the unjust.