Chapter

Luke 6:33

ESV And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
NIV And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.
NASB And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
CSB If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.
NLT And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!
KJV And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

What does Luke 6:33 mean?

This verse gives context to Jesus' prior command to "…do good to those who hate you" (Luke 6:27), and an application for Luke 6:32 regarding loving those who do not love you. In the most practical sense, "others" means "everybody." In this passage, it specifically refers to those we consider enemies. It is easy and logical to do good to those we know will return the favor. Even "sinners"—those who do not live by a biblical ethical framework—will do so. What makes no sense from a worldly perspective is to do good for those who don't seek our interests. It's especially scandalous for those enemies who are actively trying to harm us.

Jesus is not asking us to do anything He hasn't already done (Hebrews 4:15). He died for us while we were sinners and enemies so that He can save us, reconcile us to God, and make us His friends and co-heirs (Romans 5:8–11; 8:16–17; John 15:15).

To do so, Jesus patiently endured torture by those who never made the transition from enemy to friend. He is "kind to the ungrateful and the evil" (Luke 6:35). He patiently gives them the chance to choose repentance over destruction (2 Peter 3:9). Those who remain enemies will be subjugated, eventually (Hebrews 1:13). As fallible beings, we can't pursue justice in that way. We will not be repaid by our enemies in eternity; we don't deserve it. We are just as guilty as they are, in many ways if not the same exact sins (Romans 3:23). The difference between us and our enemies is that God has chosen to forgive our sins. All of us sin against God, and He will find justice for those sins, either through the eternal damnation of the unsaved or the death of Jesus on the cross for the saved.

So, we do not do good to our enemies because we will somehow earn the right to vengeance. We do good because God is merciful to us and so we should be merciful to others (Luke 6:36). Our primary "benefit" is living out the reality that we are the children of God the Father. An additional benefit is that God will bless us in eternity (Luke 6:20–23, 37–38).
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