Outrageous Grace

The fourth and fifth examples are found in Matthew 5:42. These are examples of simple human requests. Jesus tells us that in dealing with evil, we are to give up our self-interests.

“Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you” (Matt. 5:42, ESV). The only other text that uses the words, “borrow” and “lend” and “love your enemies” is found in Luke 6:34-35. (D. A. Hagner) Lk. 6:34-35,

“And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 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.”

What kind of giving and lending is Jesus saying? It is the kind of giving that expects nothing in return. It is the kind of lending that expects nothing in return.

Listen! It is also the kind of lending that includes your enemies. If you lend to your friends, every sinner does that. But if you lend to your enemies, to people that you have no hope of refund—that is Kingdom lifestyle!

In the world, we tend to protect our self-interest, our financial well-being, our monies from relatives who would exploit it, and our assets from people who would use it. That is the natural thing to do. But in the Kingdom, we are to give up our self-interests. We are to resist the tendency to protect our self-interests. We are to live the higher kind of righteousness. We are to give to those who ask, expecting nothing in return. We are to lend to those who borrow, expecting nothing in return. We are to give even to our enemies.

In closing, we learn that instead of demanding our personal rights, we are to renounce it. Instead of retaliating, we are to resist revenge. Instead of an eye for an eye, we are to give way to others. Instead of doing the average thing, we are to do more than is expected of us. Instead of being bound by the values of the world, we are to be bound by the values of the King.

This lifestyle reflects the grace of the gospel. For as we do not retaliate, we show them grace. As we do more under oppression, we show them grace. As we give expecting nothing in return, we show them grace. In the Kingdom of God, as we undeserving sinners have received grace, so we give grace to the undeserving.

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