But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28 NABRE
The gospel writer Luke is sharing what has been referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. It is a long teaching by Jesus to a crowd that starts off by telling them what will make them “blessed” which means fortunate or happy. The teaching continues in almost the entirety of chapter six in Luke’s writing. In the quoted verse Jesus is expanding on the law the people heard from Moses. Moses said “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) Jesus tells them to love their enemies. This has to be scandalous for them to hear. Those thinking Jesus was the Messiah are expecting Him to lead a revolt against the Romans, and He is exhorting them to love the Romans. But Jesus goes even further, do good to them, bless them and pray for them. Jesus doesn’t think like anyone else. In fact even after knowing Jesus’ teaching and accepting to be a follower of Jesus, and knowing how serious He is in His own life about loving His enemies, we still have difficulty following this teaching. As they are crucifying Him, His friends abandoned Him, strangers mocking Him, he says, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Who are your enemies today? A sibling that knows how to get under your skin? A longtime friend who has broken trust? A parent who doesn’t seem to give you the freedom you desire? A person from the other side of the political spectrum? In the USA we aren’t occupied, and we do enact our version justice when attacked. Who are your enemies? Can you name them, love, do good, bless and pray for them? If you are a follower of Jesus this is not optional.
Can you begin to forgive someone who has offended you? Can you at least pray for them?Who are your enemies? Can you name them, love, do good, bless and pray for them? If you are a follower of Jesus this is not optional. Click To Tweet
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