“Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
Your reward is great in heaven; see entry for Matt. 6:1.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
(a) Do good. When Jesus tells us to love our enemies in the hope of a great reward, the reward is that our enemies will become eternal friends. We store up treasure in heaven and earn a great reward and make eternal friends by doing good to others. “Lend, expecting nothing in return.” To give to the ungrateful with no thought of repayment is to show grace. It’s revealing the unmerited favor of a good God whose best is better than our worst and who holds nothing against us.
(b) Your reward will be great. You will have treasures in heaven.
Several types of reward are mentioned in scripture. There is the reward of eternal life that comes from trusting in Jesus (see entry for Matt. 16:27). And there is the reward or wage we get in accordance for our labor (see entry for 1 Cor. 3:14). It is the second type of reward Jesus is talking about here. What is the reward? It’s people – eternal friends and spiritual offspring.
See entry for Eternal Rewards.
(c) You will be sons of the Most High. When we give generously of ourselves expecting nothing in return, we are acting in a Christlike manner. We are revealing the spirit of Christ who loved his enemies and did good without expecting anything in return. When we shine with the light of Christ, it brings praise to our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
The wrong way to read this verse is to think philanthropy qualifies us for sonship. We are saved by grace alone. We don’t imitate Christ to become children of God. Rather, we imitate God as beloved children (Eph. 5:1).
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
(a) Your Father; see entry for Luke 2:49.
(b) Merciful. The God Jesus revealed is a merciful, gracious and forgiving Father (Matt. 6:14, 18:27, Luke 7:47, 15:22, 23:34, John 1:14).
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
Lord, Lord. On three occasions, Jesus spoke about people who would cry out “Lord, Lord” yet not be received into his kingdom (Matt: 7-21-22, 25:11, Luke 6:46). On each occasion he was talking about people who did not know him or do what he says.
Further reading: “What about those who cry ‘Lord, Lord’?”
“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Has not acted accordingly. It’s not enough to hear the good news that Jesus brings; you need to believe it. Faith in God (such as the Jews had) is dead unless accompanied by believing in the One he sent (see entry for Jas. 2:18).
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