"Even 'sinners' love those who love them...." (Luke 6:32-36)

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:32-36)

What is the difference between love and business?

This statement by Jesus defines the meaning of love. Love is not the same as business. In a business relationship, people do good things for others because they get some kind of return for their good acts.

For example, a waiter will bring us a glass of water and our food because they get paid. They do not bring us food and water just because they care for us. It is their job. They get a salary plus tips in return for bringing us food and water.

Love, on the other hand, requires no payment. And a person that thinks they care for someone but expects some kind of return favor for their caring actions is fooling themselves. They might care a bit for the person, but they also care for what they get back. That is not pure care. That is not pure love.

Jesus is thus making a clear distinction between love and this business form of love.

Doesn't love ultimately originate with God?

Just as God is our Creator and the Creator of the physical universe, He is also the ultimate Source of love. He is the ultimate source of any love that we have in our hearts towards others. That is because ultimately He loves us unconditionally. He loves each of us whether or not we love Him back. He loves each of us even when we do bad things. He loves us regardless.

This type of love is contagious. A person who comes into contact with this love from God will gain the ability to truly love others.

As such, only when a person is involved in a loving relationship with the Supreme Being can they truly love and care for others without an expectation of any return.

Only when a person is tasting the mercy given by the Supreme Being - that of loving us and forgiving us even though we have ignored Him for so long - can a person truly have mercy upon someone else.

This is the law of the spiritual realm. Every good quality - whether it is love, kindness, compassion, intelligence, beauty and any other good quality - ultimately comes from the Supreme Being. He is the Source of these because He maintains each of these qualities in their ultimate manifestation - and to their ultimate degree.

And should we gain access to the Supreme Being through prayer and devotion, we will naturally begin to reflect His love upon others.

This is why Jesus is often confused with the Supreme Being. Because of his great acts of kindness, generosity and compassion towards others, we find that Jesus was reflecting God's love. Jesus' loving relationship with the Supreme Being reflected God's qualities in Jesus' nature and activities.

Notice that Jesus is offering to his followers that they can also become like him: "You will be sons of the Most High."

Who are the 'sons of the Most High'?

The word "sons" is being translated from the Greek word υἱός (huios), which is the same word used throughout the New Testament to describe Jesus as the "Son of God."

Thus we can see that according to Jesus himself, being the "son of God" is not exclusive to Jesus.

In fact, the word υἱός (huios) is not appropriately being translated here and elsewhere in the New Testament as describing Jesus as the "son of God." The word υἱός (huios) can only accurately be translated to "son" according to the lexicon: "in a restricted sense, the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)." And we know that Jesus is not talking about a physical male offspring here. Jesus is talking about a spiritual relationship between himself or his students and the Supreme Being.

Rather, according to the lexicon, υἱός (huios) is better translated in this context, as: "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."

Thus the more appropriate translation* of the word υἱός (huios) is "follower" "devoted follower" "devotee" or even "loving servant."

And thus, Jesus is stating clearly that only if we become God's devoted followers, or loving servants, can we truly love and care for, and be merciful to others. We can see this within the multiple references to "sons of God" among the English Bible translations:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:2)
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4)
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 6:9)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
Thus we can see that "sons" has been mistranslated throughout the texts of these English translations. The word being referred to "son" also refers to becoming devoted to the Supreme Being - a loving servant or devotee.

Such a position would also render an additional possible translation of υἱός (huios) in some contexts - when the loving servant is teaching on behalf of God: That of being representative of God. One who is dependent upon God and is serving God will also represent God in some situations. This was Jesus' role - he is representing the Supreme Being.

The central operator is love. Loving service means there is a motive of love. This was specifically indicated by Jesus:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt. 22:37-39)

*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement from the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
If you only love those who love you, where is your benefit? Even the wicked love those who love them. If you only treat well those who treat you well, where is your benefit? Even the wicked do that. If you lend only to those from whom you expect to receive, where is your benefit? Even the wicked lend to the wicked in order to receive the same in return. Instead, love your enemies and treat them well and lend without the expectation of return and you will have many rewards and you will be servants of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. (Luke 6:32-36)