Do not be like the Publicans
Matthew 5:47 -
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
As Christians we are expected to be different from the people of this world. The word Church does not mean just 'a congregation’ but means 'a congregation drawn out'.
The Greek word 'aspazomai' used for 'salute' means 'to draw to one's self'. It does not mean just to be good to, it also does not mean just love. It means to bring change into the life of the person from darkness to light.
We as Christians are primary instructed to encourage and build our own brethren first. But things do not stop there; we are also called to change the lives of those who are of this world.
The synonyms publicans used here did not refer to the person who collected tax but referred to the character that was associated with such a person. It is like the character most Indian associate with a politician. When a Jew at that time took the word publican he or she would have a picture of a greedy person who had no moral, who would do anything and go to any extend to get what they wanted. That person would not hesitate to use violence as a tool. Deceit and lies were just a way of life for such a person.
The Lord is telling each one of us. He did not put us here in this world just to know Him and come back to Him, but also wants us to let others know Who He is and this will happen when they see Him in us. We need to be different from the people of this world and then only would we be true Christians.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are God and You alone are Holy. Lord, You call us your children and being your children we need to have your Nature in us. Man did not know You or have an idea of Who You are. It was only in Jesus Christ your Nature was manifested in the flesh and we are coming to know You. Lord Jesus, You became an example for us to become. Help us by your Spirit to stand apart from this world and to let your light shine through us in this world...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripturesr ]
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
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