What makes it hard to love your enemies?
Yesterday we read what Jesus said about loving our enemies from Matthew’s gospel. Today, let’s read it from Luke’s gospel.
Luke 6:27-36. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Jesus isn’t simply telling us to stay away from our enemies or to not be mean to them. He’s telling us to do something much harder – do good to your enemy. But most of the time we can’t even be nice to the people we love, so how on earth will we be nice to the people who we don’t like? Jesus gives us the clue for how to do it – You will be sons of the Most High.
When we trust in Jesus and receive him as our savior we become the sons and daughters of God, just like Jesus. We aren’t God like Jesus is, but we are children of God like Jesus is. And when you’re a child of God you can actually begin to love your enemy. Why? Because when you’re a child of God you know that you have all of God’s love. Now if an enemy is mean to us we can still be OK. Why? Because we know that God always loves us no matter what. Then we can love our enemies too just like God loved us when we were his enemies.
Because of Jesus we are the beloved children of God.
With Jesus we can love anyone, even our enemies.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make some popcorn together. Give everyone just a little bit of popcorn. If you only had a little bit of popcorn it might be hard to share, but what if you had an endless supply of popcorn? Would you share with everyone? With Jesus we have an endless supply of kindness that we can share, even with our enemies.
Jesus, just like you I am a child of God. Now I know God loves me no matter what. Now I can love everyone else too, even someone who is not very nice. Amen.