“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)
Jesus shared this words to His disciples as well as the large crowds that gathered to hear Him speak. These words are a part of His Sermon on the Mount (also found in the book of Matthew). He made a point to tell His disciples that being a follower of Jesus meant loving others even your enemies. Loving one’s enemies goes against what people think and feel. People who are one’s friends are to be loved, people who are one’s enemies are to be hated. But Jesus made it a point to so say “love your enemies” and to bless them.
When He said this, there was no guarantee that the enemy would love back. In fact, He says to “expect nothing in return”. Those enemies may keep on hating, may keep on taking, may keep on being ungrateful and hurtful. Yet, as followers of Jesus, we are called to love them.
We live in a day and age where divisiveness is prevalent. Hate is almost celebrated and anger is cheered. Yet even in the midst of this, Jesus’ calling for us to love our enemies still rings true. We are still called to love our enemies. We are still called to bless those that curse us. We are still called to do what is good and lend expecting nothing in return. Because that is what Jesus would do and being a follower of Jesus means doing what He would do.
This week let us demonstrate that love to others. Let us show love and let us show mercy. This world needs that desperately.