Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Luke 6:30 NABRE
Luke captures a long sermon that Jesus preaches to a large crowd. One aspect of the sermon is a teaching on loving enemies, doing good to them, blessing them and praying for them. Jesus is aware the only way to convert an enemy is to love them, to bring them toward God with love. Jesus does not teach retaliation for someone who is an enemy or treats us badly. Rather Jesus teaches to give and turn the other cheek. Jesus refuses to be conquered by evil but rather conquers evil with good. As individual’s we should trust in God to settle accounts, while being unconcerned about preserving our honor and reputation. With selfless behavior and a good attitude we should be ready to give to everyone who asks and not demand anything in return. Jesus is leading to a message which has been named the Golden Rule; do to others as you would have them do to you. Jesus flips human behavior, so that we are able to transform others’ lives through love. Love is not easy, it requires sacrifice and giving, especially when someone injures or takes from us. This is not the way the world teaches, in the world we are expected to enforce justice on someone who hurts or takes from us. But in the kingdom of God mercy is the behavior required. Forgive others, forget injuries and love those who do not love us.
Jesus’ philosophy of loving enemies is complex and difficult. Key to living in this manor is beating back our own ego. When someone hurts or injures us, we are challenged by others to retaliate, to get even or seek revenge and if we don’t we can feel like our reputation is harmed. Jesus teaches this is not important, loving is the most important behavior. If we can love enemies, we can bring them to a good place in their and our life.
Do your enemies challenge you to retaliate? Can you love even those who take from you?Jesus teaches loving is the most important behavior. If we can love enemies, we can bring them to a good place in their and our life. Click To Tweet
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