Luke 6:27-31“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
The first century middle east was no lovefest … much like today’s middle east, but without automatic weapons. Israel was under the thumb of the Roman empire and the hate between them was mutual. The Israelites and Samaritans, both descends of Jacob, had been fighting over issues of religious doctrine for around 700 years.
No, Israel, at the time of Jesus on earth, was far from a loving atmosphere. So, when Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you,” it was an extremely radical idea. And it is still a hard pill to swallow for most people. The whole concept of treating others as you want to be treated is fine, as long as the other person is doing the same. However, when the other person is coming at you in hate and violence, it seems humanly impossible to love them. But that’s the point! We are to love as God loved us. “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) “While we were yet sinners” means we were literally at war with God and fighting against His will.
We are to love as Jesus loved which can only happen if we submit our will to him. To say and mean, “not my will, but your’s be done.”
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Your will be done in my life, my thoughts, my words, and my actions. Amen.
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