In Matthew 5:21-48, Jesus explicitly describes the righteousness necessary to go to heaven: be a peacemaker (vv. 21-26); be pure in heart (vv. 27-32); be a person of your word (vv. 33-37); be gracious (vv. 38-48).
Since Jehovah is the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10)—full of compassion, gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in mercy and truth (Psalm 86:15), it is most fitting that Jesus specifically focuses on being gracious.
- Be merciful and kind to people who are unmerciful and unkind. “You have heard that it was said,‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also” (vv. 38-40).
- Do more than your duty. “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” (v. 41).
- Be generous. “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (v. 42).
- Love your enemies. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father 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” (vv. 44-45).
God is gracious because of Who He is.
The righteous are gracious because of who their God is.