Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:27–36

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         The historical setting for this passage is essential to grasp. The Jewish people were subjugated by the Romans who had made their lives miserable.  Plus, among the Jews were a number of factions, which held each other in contempt. Now Jesus knew that hatred for His followers would become extreme in near future, and which would continue down through history.

2.         Had anyone prior to this point in history said, “love your enemies?” Perhaps, but we have no knowledge of such. But now Jesus says to His followers, and to us as well, “love your enemies” and the word love here is agape, which means seeking the best for others including enemies. And the highest act of love is the crucifixion of Jesus, His taking our sin and death upon Himself.

3.         We are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and bless those who curse us. And when insulted we are not to do the same. For those who ask of us of material goods we are to freely give.

4.         Then comes what has come to be called “The Golden Rule:” “As you wish others would do to you, do so to them.” This is also found in Matthew 7:12.

5.         Jesus then gives 3 examples of this rule: love those who do not love you, do good to those who will not do good to you, and give to others without hope of return. And to do so is favored by the Most High who is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. We are to be merciful like our Father is.

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