Intro: Most of the time, it is easy to love our family and friends. Even when they are challenging to our sense of peace, we choose to love them and keep them near. When they align with our values and add to our sense of well-being, we truly like spending time with them. As well, we deliberately choose our friends wisely, so they will be a good influence on us and vice versa. Conversely, most of the time we run from an enemy [one who hates], because he or she do not share our same values and being together puts “undo” pressure upon us. But, where is Jesus—the Living Word—in all of this?
Scripture teaches, as God’s children, we are to deeply care for and honor our brothers and sisters in the family of faith (Ro 12:10). However, Jesus also came to teach a new way to look at life: we are to love our enemies and those who persecute us for living the Truth. When we love our enemies, we are overcoming evil through self-sacrificing love for others (Ro 12:14-21). God sees and he deals with things according to his will.
In our passage today, The Jews despised the Romans because they oppressed God’s people. Jesus told them to love their enemies and that was a message they did not want to hear. As a result, many people left Jesus’ teaching. They missed the greater meaning of what Christ was saying; he was not telling his disciples to extend affection for their enemies. Jesus wanted his followers to pray for their enemies and help them see and know the God who is love. Every human being needs the love of God even though none of us deserve it.
As well, Jesus is not promoting injustice in verse 30, and he is not asking his disciples to let criminals take advantage of them. He is simply asking believers to reveal his moral character in the midst of injustice by acting in a way that leads them toward God. Treating others the way we would like to be treated is a fundamental ethic that governs the behavior of believers.
Luke 6:27-31 Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
Prayer: Lord, please continue to teach us how to be peacemakers in the midst of conflict and challenges. Help us to be examples by treating others the way we would want to be treated. In Jesus’ name. Amen.