Wednesday, February 19, 2014

loving enemies Matthew 5:38-48

"Love your enemies," Jesus said it, and He meant it.
He offers sinners nothing less than His love on the cross. And He invites His followers to walk in similar steps dealing with real people and real conflicts.
What on earth is Jesus speaking about. He was speaking about how God's word—His law and His Gospel—point His followers to live in this world. Jesus is naming the truth about people and about God. Following Jesus is no pie in the sky religion. He gives an invitation to trust God everyday in down to earth face to face challenges. Be honest: loving enemies isn't easy. Dealing with people who greet you with swear words and curses isn't easy. And Jesus words aren't just meant for us with people who are close-by. He's offering this direction to us in every dimension of our lives. This isn't easy; Jesus knows that and He says love your enemies and pray for them. He says that about people close by and about enemies and warring nations.

Maybe you want to say back to Jesus, "Really Jesus, even they deserve Christ like love?" Jesus invites His friends to new life beginning and ending in His cross. He invites those who greet you with anger and wrath to that very same new life. Jesus isn't calling His friends just to show kindness to the kind and pleasant, that's easy. He calls his disciples to love those they are in conflict with today and those they will be in conflict with in the future.

Jesus invitation to new life starts and ends with His cross. He comes to offer new life, period including in person to person relationships. When He says love your enemies He's not talking about warm fuzzy love. He's talking about love that can stand in storms and face evil for what it is. Jesus is calling us even to see those who do us harm as people with basic dignity. Here's really honest territory for believers. Jesus sees the dignity of all people. And He invites his friends to do the same.
Listen close to the Savior's words, your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Matthew 5:44 NCV
Jesus invites his friends to live honest about everything--joy and pain, relationships and conflict. Following Jesus means freedom to be honest about who God is and who people are and what people do right and wrong. When Jesus calls you to love your enemies not just the loveable. He is calling us to love our neighbors when we look at them not as good and trustworthy but when even we see them as dishonorable. Even then Jesus says love them and pray for them.
Peace and thanks for reading, John

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