Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]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, 45 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.
One of the more challenging commands that Jesus gave to us his disciples is that we must love our enemies, bless them and do good to them. Now that a tall order for most if not all of us because the natural inclination is for us to hate and wish disaster and pronounce curses on our enemies. In fact we have some churches that do that.
That is the way of the world and though we are in the world we are not of the world.
But who is my enemy? The English dictionary tells me that an enemy is a person who is actively opposed or hostile towards someone or something. An enemy is anyone who hates you for one reason or another. Now, lets just pose and allow that to sink in. I am sure a few names may have popped up in your mind, Well, Jesus tells us that we must love these individuals.
Then there are those people who curse you. These are those whose speech is intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on you. Basically they want harm to come on you. Jesus commands us to love these people as well.
Then there are those who spitefully use you meaning they abuse and mistreat you just like they did Jesus, people who persecute you meaning they actually derive pleasure when they inflict pain on you, people who misuse and abuse you for their own personal gain. Jesus says we must love these people.
In all spheres of life we sometimes get to interact with people who will mistreat us in such manner for various reasons and Jesus is telling us that no matter the reason for the hate, we are to respond to this people by loving them.
One thing I love about Jesus is that he never tells us to do anything he did not do himself. Remember when his enemies were nailing him to the cross, he did not curse them back but rather he loved them enough to pray for them that God would forgive them because they did not know what they were doing.
May we have the same heart to forgive and love our enemies.
Who are some of your enemies and how did they become enemies?
What has your relationship with your enemies been like so far?
How do you intend to fulfill this command to love your enemy?