Love Your Enemies
In the next section on the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says to love your enemies. This is perhaps his most famous and most disregarded teaching. We often find ourselves carving out exceptions for the people we don’t like or who have hurt us. We excuse our disobedience as practicality. But Jesus calls you to love your enemies because it shows the transforming power of God’s Spirit at work in your heart. It’s only as we live out indiscriminate love that we show people what God is really like.
You may not have real enemies. But do you dislike people who are rude to you, or people who disagree with you? Chances are there are some people you just have a hard time loving. These are the people you’re called love. Part of what is means is learning to pray for them. We need to humbly stand with them and pray for God to forgive us of our unfaithfulness. While praying for them might change them, it will certainly change us. It will change our thinking towards them. They may go from being people we regard with contempt, to people we view with compassion.
Questions for Reflection
- What does the world see when they hear Jesus teaching of enemy-love and see a church that doesn’t live it out?
- Have you ever been kind to someone who was unkind to you? Did your kindness change the dynamic of the relationship?
- Who are the people I find it most difficult to identify with?
- Have I ever prayed for someone I disliked? How did my attitude toward them change?
Other Sermons In This Series