Matthew 5:45 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 5:45, NIV: that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 5:45, ESV: so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:45, KJV: 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.

Matthew 5:45, NASB: so that you may prove yourselves to 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 5:45, NLT: In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Matthew 5:45, CSB: so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

What does Matthew 5:45 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God loves everyone in the world, both the good people and those who are evil. How do we know that? Jesus offers one bit of evidence: God causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on everyone, no matter who they are or what they are guilty of. God is the provider, and He provides good in this way and countless other ways to all people.

Jesus has commanded His disciples to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:43–44). Now He gives one reason for doing so: this is to imitate God the Father, as earthly sons imitate their fathers. Jesus describes imitating the Father as a way to become one of His Sons.

Theologians refer to God's goodness to everyone, no matter who they are, as "common grace." Jesus has described His disciples as the "light of the world" (Matthew 5:14–16). God is the source of the light in His people. Born-again believers are the tools with which He distributes His light into the spiritual darkness of the world. One of the ways God shows His light through us is when believers love their enemies the way God loves them.

The big picture in this is that nobody is beyond God's redemption by grace through faith in Christ. Believers attract people to faith in Christ when they give good in exchange for evil, and when they pray for those who bring them pain.