Thursday 10 February 2022

Bible Book:

'But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' (v. 44)

Matthew 5:43-48 Thursday 10 February 2022

Psalm 73:15-28


Earlier this week, we reflected on Jesus' views on how we should act in the face of an aggressor. Jesus now turns to something far bigger: how to deal with your enemies.

We may think that it is only superheroes who have 'enemies' but each of us has prejudices and people we prefer to avoid when we see them walking towards us. We may not call them enemies, but we treat them in a way that shows our dislike of them.

 Jesus tells those who have gathered to listen exactly what is expected of them. Loving the people we like is easy (most of the time) and is something that everyone does including tax collectors and pagans. It is how we treat those we dislike or who persecute us that will set us apart.

There are two verses (v. 45 and v. 48) that stick out in the general instructions that Jesus gives. Verse 45 is a reminder that God doesn’t treat humanity differently because of their actions. The rain falls on us all and the sun continues to rise whether we are good or bad. In this we are reminded that we should be loving to all people including those we find hard to like.

 Verse 48 is much more difficult to get our heads around. We are told to 'be perfect' as God is. But none of us are perfect in the way God is. We know this to be impossible and something beyond our reach. But I am sure that doesn’t mean we shouldn't strive for it. As we seek to love those we don’t always see eye to eye with, we reach for the perfection we see in Jesus. As we meet the needs of others, even imperfectly, we are journeying in the right direction.

To Ponder:

  • How challenging do you find it to love your enemies?
  • In what ways could you show love to those people you do not get along with?
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