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The Shock of Common Grace, an expository message from Matthew 5:44-45, helps us wrestle with why God would treat the unrighteous the same as the righteous.
Matthew 5:44-45 can really shock us.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45).
At a first quick glance we observe that Jesus mentions the the two categories of wicked and unrighteous. This makes us think that God would treat people by the way they lived their lives. We would think this is proper, as one should treat the righteous better than the wicked.
But Jesus nullifies this thinking by treating the righteous, whom we would think deserve better, the same as the wicked. So we only can conclude that some principle, far greater than simple justice or reward is at work.
So we must conclude that God provides His sun and rain to all without respect to whether they have lived noble or abusive lives. This is where we see the power of God’s common grace. The principle goes beyond our typical thinking.
This constant display of magnanimous treatment to all people alike can make us think twice because we often only treat people according to their treatment to us. We need to be more like God who constantly and steadily provides a stream of kind deeds without respect to the benefactors’ response to Him.
Because of this, we can see how God’s treatment to all mankind is at least designed to act as a filter of love. In other words, God wants us to see His kind treatment and draw us close to Him. We are to learn from His favor toward us and then as a child imitates his father, imitate our Lord’s ways with those around us.
Since His kind treatment is so great, consistent and everywhere seen, we must conclude that we should set aside any sort of doubt about God’s gracious treatment to us.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988