Love your Enemies

Loving my enemies?! This sounds like asking too much! Loving my neighbour? Sure, some of the time I can manage that. But my enemies?!

And yet that is exactly what Jesus tells us to do in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:44 (WEBBE): 44But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,

Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything that He didn’t do Himself. I think that the people that crucified Him can be considered enemies of Jesus. And at the moment when they mistreated Him the most severely, while He was hanging on the cross, He still prayed to the Father for their forgiveness.

Luke 23:34 (WEBBE): 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Dividing his garments amongst them, they cast lots.

Let us consider the rest of the paragraph from Matthew 5:

Matthew 5:45-48 (WEBBE): 45that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

We should represent Jesus in the world, always demonstrating His LOVE. Jesus died for EVERYBODY, to set them free from captivity by evil. Every single person you meet today was considered so valuable by God that He gave His only Son for him/her!

Ephesians 6:!2 (WEBBE): 12For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Our battle is not with people, but with the powers that oppress them. If we understand that, it becomes clear that our earthly “enemies” are in fact captives of evil that should be set free. We should be the hands of Jesus on the Earth for them!

I will close with a quote from Curry Blake that sums up our position very well indeed:

You are God’s son, man’s servant, and the devil’s master. – Curry Blake