Gospel of Matthew, Day 9 of 58
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
Tax collector were more like organized criminals than government bureaucrats in Jesus’ day. Therefore, Jesus is saying that even morally reprehensible people love people who love them or demonstrate loyalty. The ethic here is “Scratch my back, and I will scratch your back.” It is a conditional love that asks, “What have you done for me lately?”
God calls us to love without expectation of repayment or favor. This is the way God loves us.
What conditions do I place on others consciously or unconsciously to earn my love? I want to challenge myself to love others even when they don’t love me back.
Lord God, I am beginning to understand you better. I experience your character in unconditional love without strings attached. It is hard to practice. But you, O Lord, know I am trying. In your holy name I pray. Amen.