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Explaining Causality, an expository message from Matthew 5:45, helps us think through Jesus' desire for us to understand how God's love and care are behind the many graces touching our lives.
The first word of our key passage (Mat 5:45b) is ‘for’. The word ‘for’ provides an explanation why something should be done. In this case Jesus is simply telling us why we should love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
The Lord wants us to be kind to those who hate us the most. We will not spend much time discussing the challenge to love our enemies or those who seem to like it when we fail, but let me provide two simple illustrations.
(1) Someone steals credit for something you thought up or designed. Your friend has just become on your black list. But then you remember Jesus told you to love your enemies.
(2) A neighbor is so rude with his loud music and bad words. You wonder if he plays it so loud just to disturb you. You are ready to blow up at him, but then you remember that Jesus said to love your enemies.
If you are like most of us, you will instantly think of several excuses why your particular case is different, will you not? We are so predictable.
Jesus could simply have told us, “Do what I say.” He didn’t. He has a great desire that we know why we should obey Him by loving our enemies. Jesus knew that and was trying to provide not just another rule to follow but a reason to live and respond differently.1 We must admit that we probably need something greater than a rule to inspire us. What is it that Jesus said?
Jesus is giving us deeper understanding about God the Father and in turn hopes that our responses will be more genuine. The Lord wants the whole situation to be a time when our faith and trust in Him grow. We are not a group of robots that the Lord merely wants to control. He wants us to love Him from our hearts.
Jesus explains how common events that we experience in life such as the sun rising and the rain falling are controlled by God. They are not run by some impersonal force that dictates their action but God. Jesus actually calls the sun ‘His sun.’ The sun belongs to God.
God is intricately connected to the world that we see, the spiritual with the physical. ￼This seems so obvious but because of the 24/7 broadcast of a secular culture it is no longer seen that way. When we walk through one of these multimillion dollar science museums, there is not a word about God. We have been lied to and cheated. That knowledge is disinformation.
Just think about the last time you saw the sun and felt the rain drops on you. Did our hearts respond in thankfulness to God? Or did we just adore the sun’s rays and the blue sky? We have such a difficulty linking God with His glorious creation.
The word ‘grace’ is not used in this passage, but the meaning is there. Grace is undeserving goodness. Unless we can see that God has a direct hand in the sun to rise and the rain to fall, then Jesus’ argument is washed up.
The whole point of what Jesus is saying is that due to the fact that God the Father has brought up the sun this morning and for the past 2+ million days (calculated from the minimum of 6,000 years), He has demonstrated something about His person.
The sun coming up and the rain coming down is not to be taken as a natural act but a supernatural one through which we can see a truth. We learn much about God from observing things all about us because God’s handprint, so to speak, is everywhere.
I have this problem too. I know God made the sun rise, but my knowledge of God is only with great difficulty enriched. There is a sense of delight but no swelling of thanks rising in my heart. I somehow have disassociated God’s goodness with these truths. I love the sunrise, but I have to force myself to think about God who made it. May God break through our stubborn hearts and lead us to better understand His favor upon us.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988