“And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Matthew 5:47
Jesus just finished telling you to love your enemy. He points out that God pours out needed rain on everyone, so you should also love everyone as He does.
Now Jesus raises a question about who you greet. Take notice of who greets who in a church. Friends will go up to each other and greet each other. Many people will desire to greet the pastor. There is nothing wrong with these greetings.
The problem arises when that is all the greeting that is done. Often the friends greeting each other are in a clique and do not include others. Very often a new person in the church gets overlooked; or the person not dressed very good and has a bit of an aroma around him that is not good.
Now look into the public places such as a store or your workplace. Who greets who? Again it is only friends greeting other friends. The friends are usually all on the same level financially, spiritually, desires, and viewpoints.
In this verse Jesus points out that even pagans do this. Pagans are those who do not believe in God. This is implying that you should be different from the pagans.
You should be willing to go up and greet the person that is dirty and smells horrible; the person who does not believe in God at all; the former convict; and even your enemy…everyone. Greeting them is a way of showing God’s love and care to them.
You are to be His witness everywhere you go. Greeting the people everyone else is shunning is showing God’s love and care to that person.
Jesus came to you when you were a filthy rotten sinner who was against God. You did not deserve to be greeted, yet that is what Jesus did. He called on you to give you life in Him. Can you do any less for someone else?
Do not be like the pagans, be like Jesus. Be willing to greet everyone, both the good and bad. Show His love to everyone, both your enemies and your friends. Don’t just greet the “good” people.
I pray today that God will fill you with His love for everyone; that God will strengthen you to greet everyone; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will not have fear in greeting anyone; and that God will use you to be His witness to the lost and dying world.