Luke- Week 7- Day 2
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, (28) Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (29) And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. (30) Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. (31) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.Luke 6:27-31
This week we are looking at three important questions that Jesus answers that help us know what true love looks like.
2. Who should I love?
Now remember- this question, “who should I love?” does not mean “who should I be in love with?” This is not the emotive, “falling in love”, romantic type of affection that is a feeling.
Remember this is love as a verb.
The question “who should I love” could be expressed, “Who should I go love, go bless, ,go give to, go pray for and go do good for?” Who should I not retaliate against even when it feels like they deserve it?
Every one of those commands is followed by a direct object, the first of which is this: Love… your enemies!
Who are my enemies?
Jesus gives a clue to that with each of the descriptions of who we should love. Look at them as a list:
- them which hate you
- them that curse you
- them that despitefully use you
- him that smiteth thee
- him that taketh away thy goods
The truth is that the command to do good, and bless, and give to those who do it in return isn’t that hard of a command when it refers to those we are close to like friends and family. When I say “I love you” to my wife, she says it back. When I give affection to my kids, they often give it back. When I am kind to people like me- with my worldview, with my way of thinking and interests- they are often kind in return.
But to include people who hate me, who curse me, who despitefully uses me, who hit me and take away my goods, that includes a whole bunch of people that I, in my natural man, do not want to love.
This means that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, God’s will for me is to have no category of person in my life who I should not love (the verb).
This coming Sunday is “Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday. On this Sunday we are quick to affirm the life of the innocent in the womb. We should. It is right.
But the truth is that as disciples of Christ, we do not just affirm the right to life for every unborn human being. We must also affirm the command to love every human being, including our enemies.
This doesn’t mean that we agree with our enemies. It doesn’t mean that we affirm the sin of our enemies. It doesn’t mean we ignore truth in the name of love. It doesn’t mean that we must have the “warm fuzzies” for those who hate us.
No to truly love someone is to affirm the truth. Equipped believers, according Ephesians 4, are people who speak the truth in love and grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ.
We love the innocent.
We love those who love us.
But we also love those who are difficult to love. We love our enemies.
Who is someone in your life that could be categorized as an enemy? How can you express love for them today?