What a sobering question. Jesus asked, "What more are you doing than others" while He was teaching a lesson on the high standard of loving our enemies. He used the practical workings of the Law of Moses when He said, "eye for an eye..." Mt 5:38 In contrast to that He said, "love your enemies..." Mt 5:44 Wow, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That makes the question He asked even more sobering! Remember, Jesus exemplified this teaching when He was on the cross. Lk 23:34 We must follow Jesus and imitate Him. What should we do more than others, love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you. This is essential to show our resemblance of our Father who gives to the righteous and unrighteous. Mt 5:45
Some say and think this is impossible for a human to accomplish. It may be extremely hard, but not impossible. Jesus makes it possible. He does so by not just saying it, but by living it. Paul says a similar thing when he writes the Romans and is instructing them to behave like Christians. Rom 12:17-21
In verse 46, Jesus said that even tax collectors love the ones who love them. These tax collectors were commonly known for theft. If a thief can love those who love them what praise is found in this kind of love? NONE! Listen to me now, a Christian should have a love that distinguishes them from sinners! Lk 6:32,33 Jesus asked, "What more are you doing than others?" The answer He is looking for is, "Loving others like the example you gave, my Lord." Instead, we are trying to love others, like sinners. A Christians love should distinguish them from sinners. I once read about a father teaching his son about being a gentleman and said, "My son, speak kindly to everyone, even those who do not speak kindly to you. You must remember to show courtesy to others not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one." Jesus wants us to love, do good for, and lend to our enemies while expecting nothing in return. Lk 6:35 We must love our enemies not because of who they are, but because of who we are, Christians.
This question Jesus asked teaches that Christianity is of little value if it doesn't make us better than those in the world. At their baptism, a Christian is raised up to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3,4) not the oldness of life. At their baptism, a Christian has buried their old self and put on a new self. Col 3:7-10 This newness of life and new self is harder than memorizing book, chapter, and verse of God's Word. It is hard to do! The Pharisees were Law abiding men. They tithed down to the mustard seed. All of this wasn't sufficient. Jesus said, our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees. Mt 5:20 If we memorize the entire Bible and give all we got at tithe and offering time but fail to love our enemies we are no different than the world.
Jesus asked, "what more are you doing than others?" Jesus is our standard not other people or denominations. It's a shame that Jehovah's Witnesses circulate literature filled with error, we should circulate more to preach the truth. If a Mormon can give ten percent to support error, we should give more to support the truth. If a denomination can meet to worship in error for three hours, we should meet to worship for four hours in truth. I know, now I have gotten personal. Jesus asked, "What more are you doing than others?"
Don't be caught up in the trap of being average! Most people are satisfied when they have accomplished what is considered average. Jesus didn't call us to be average! The average was "eye for an eye" but Jesus demands more. He demands love and not to resist an person who is evil. Mt 5:39 The average was "thou shall not kill" but Jesus demands more. He demands us to love our brothers. 1Jn 3:15; 4:20 The average says that "one faith is as good as another" but Jesus says worship can be in vain. Mt 15:9 One more, the average is "drink but don't get drunk" but God's Word says abstain forms of evil. 1Th 5:22 These examples vividly show that Jesus demands that we excel beyond average. We were not called to be average. We were called to be Christians! We are called to follow Jesus' example even in suffering. 1Pe 2:21 Jesus leads us to the Father. Jesus leads us home. Jn 14:6
Jesus asked, "What more are you doing than others?" May we never measure what we are doing to anyone other than Jesus. Today, are we willing to love and pray for our enemies? Are we willing to answer the call to go beyond average? Are we ready to be a Christian? Are we ready to follow Jesus?
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
We must hear the Word of God: Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We must believe or have faith: Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We must repent of our sins: Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We must confess Christ before others: Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We must be immersed into Christ (baptized) Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We must be faithful: Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22