“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged…” (Lk 6: 31-37)
Is Christ presuming here that we, to whom He addresses these words about “doing unto others,” aren’t “sinners,” or aren’t among “the ungrateful and the wicked”? I mean, when He says that “even sinners” do good only to those who do good to them; and that God is kind even to “the ungrateful and the wicked”?
No. He knows that all of us are “sinners,” and also, occasionally at least, “ungrateful and wicked.” That’s why He finds it necessary to give all of “us” this lesson in the first place. But He is being subtle, leaving open the question of who “the sinners” are, and calling us to do the same. That’s why He follows this lesson up with, “Do not judge…” Because “we,” who happen to be listening to this lesson and following Him at this point, are not called to judge who “the sinners” are, or who “the ungrateful and the wicked” are, even if we highly suspect certain somebodies, including ourselves. We are called to be “merciful” to everyone, including ourselves, just as our Father is merciful to us, at all times. Lord, have mercy, and let me have mercy today, upon me and all others, as You do.