May 12, 2017
In Matthew 5, verses 43-47, Jesus will tell his audience to love their enemies. As Christians, we’ve grown accustomed to that phrase as Christians. We may not obey it, but we’re certainly more than familiar with it. But when Jesus dropped it on His audience that day on the hillside by the Sea of Galilee, it was a like He was speaking a foreign language. Once again, He was addressing a common misperception regarding the law and their obedience to it. This time, it had to do with something the law didn’t say, but that had become almost as binding as the law itself. For some reason, the Jews had gotten it into their heads that God’s command to love their neighbor also meant that they were free to hate their enemies. And since God didn’t seem to indicate who their enemies were, they took it upon themselves to decide. In essence, anybody who wasn’t a Jew was their enemy. But Jesus had other ideas. He wasn’t going to let them misinterpret and misapply God’s law. Because for those who would be approved by God, and end up a part of His kingdom, the law of love extended to any and all, including enemies. Because it had nothing to do with loveabilty or loveliness.