I’m reading the book Christ-Centered Coaching by Jane Creswell. In it she points out that good coaches ask good questions. Then she reminds her readers that Jesus often responded to his listeners with good questions. She notes that Gospels record over 150 questions that Jesus asked. I figured that these would be good for me to review as a coach and as a Christ-follower. So I am going to begin a thread on this blog called Questions Jesus Asked, and post my thoughts as I consider them. I’m beginning with the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel.
Question # 1 Matthew 5:46 – If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? NIV
This question was was a followup to this statement made by Jesus that must have left may of his listeners responding with, “Say what?”
Matthew 5:43-45 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. NIV
It is fairly easy to love those who love us. We tend to overlook their faults and flaws because they love us; but it is a totally different thing to love people who don’t love us, perhaps despise us, or are our enemies. However, Jesus told us to love our enemies!
Reciprocating love is its own reward, but it closes people out. God rewards those who love like Jesus, who laid down his life for us while we were yet sinners! That’s tough love! It’s the kind of love God rewards. The verb here is a form of agape, the kind of love that is self-giving and self-sacrificing. It is not erotic or sensual love or even familial love. It is the kind of love that requires the Holy Spirit’s help to grow in and be consistent.