“But I say unto you, Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5)
“Increase our faith.” (The Disciples)
Christ, in the Gospel of Matthew, uses the Words, “But I say unto you.” He uses these Words to correct the peoples acceptance of the words of rogue rabbis that have been quoted down through oral history. In this instance He corrected the words and instructions that allowed the j
Jews to hate their enemies. To correct this error Christ would say, “Ye have heard it said…but I say unto you, love your enemies.” He would continue to make His argument by asking what reward they should expect if they did as everyone else. He would tell His hearers that by loving those that loved them and hating their enemies they weren’t doing anything special. They should do as God does in showing kindness to those that hate them. They should pray for those that despitefully use them and to be good to those that hate them. They should bless those that curse them. In a related teaching He would instruct His people to forgive those that wrong them, to which his disciples respond, “Increase our faith.”
I have heard many believers complain that it is so hard to love others that are not kind to them. They have gone so far as to almost admit to not taking this command of love very serous or even attempt to do so. We admit it is almost an impossibility to love one’s enemy if the Lord’s teaching is misunderstood.
Our Lord did not command us to like our enemies nor did He command us to have warm affection feeling for them. People that believe this or add these meanings th Christ’s teaching are much like Eve when she added her, “…or even touch it,” to God warning concerning the tree of good and evil. Those that add further meaning to our Lords words are like those legalist’s that add tradition to the level of command.
When our Lord uttered these holy words He was speaking to one’s action towards one’s enemies. He expects us to give a glass of cold water to the enemy, to feed them and clothe them in a time of need. He would expect us to share His words with them and to keep ourselves from gossiping and backbiting against them. He would desire us for hoping evil toward them. He would expect us to be kind to them as our God is kind to them.
Our Lord never intended for us to feign a faux or plastic like for them other than a sign of Biblical concern for their needs. This, however, does not then allow us to show outright contempt for them. We must show a courtesy and a respect when in their presence and a readiness to forgive them if forgiveness is ever sought. We are aware that this is almost an impossibility for those of the world but this is exactly the kind of thing that makes the children of light different from them and like our Father in Heaven.
We commend our fellow siblings of light to the empowering grace of God when His commands become difficult to obey. We remind you that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings and we remind you that we have been made partakers of the divine nature of God. When it become difficult to love and forgive others let us call upon God and ask His help in appropriating the spiritual blessing and the divine nature. Let us thank Him for their existence and presence. One need not ask Him for the grace but the access to them and the ability to honour Him by their use.
We have always found great blessing when we have obeyed God rather than the flesh. We have always been encourage onto greater acts of obedience when we have loved instead of hated our enemy. My fellow believer, there is not a choice in this matter. You have not been given the choice to love instead of hate. To give in to the flesh, the old man, the carnal nature is to sin against God, Who loved you and forgave you.
Therefore, beloved, “Hear Him” and do as Christ did when He walked this earth. Remember that He too, “was tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Let us go and do likewise.