Love Your Enemies - Luke 6

Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:1-49

Most Christians are familiar with the Sermon on the Mount, which is considered by many to be Jesus' greatest discourse.  It is found in chapters five through seven in the Gospel According to Matthew.  Here in Luke's gospel we find a shorter version of that Sermon.  Some Bible teachers call it the Sermon on the Plain, because Jesus came down from the mountain and was standing on a level place.  Luke 6:17.

In Luke 6:27 Jesus taught, "Love your enemies."  Then again in Luke 6:35 He said it again.  "Love your enemies."

Jesus had His enemies.  At the beginning of this chapter the scribes and Pharisees hated the Lord, because "His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands" on the Sabbath.  Besides this, Jesus Himself healed a man with a withered right hand on another Sabbath.  The legalistic Jews  were filled with rage.

Everyone has enemies, especially when you live for God and let your light shine.  Jesus said to His disciples, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you."  John 15:18.

In the early 1960s, when there was a lot of malice between the U.S.S.R. and the United States, Nikita Kruschev, the Soviet leader, was asked what he thought of Jesus' teaching about loving your enemies.  He answered, "If someone strikes me on the cheek, I'll knock his head off."

Today the entire world has become acquainted with Osama Bin Laden, and his terrorist activities.  Bin Laden said, "I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad."  Muslims are taught in the Koran, "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day."  Surah 9:29.  Why should anyone expect devout believers to behave differently?

It isn't easy to love your enemies.  In some countries it's illegal.  A South Korean Christian, Wang Eun Sik, was arrested because he taught young people in a remote village to love their enemies.  He was also falsely charged with listening to radio broadcasts from North Korea.  He spent nine months in prison, awaiting his day in court.  When it arrived, there wasn't any evidence that he listened to North Korean broadcasts, but he was reprimanded for teaching others to love their enemies.

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also...."  Anyone can love their friends.

 

Lord, You loved those who hated You.  Thank you for leading by example.  We admit that those who dislike and oppose us aren't very likeable in our eyes.  But fill us with your Spirit, that Your love might be a reality in our lives.  In Jesus' precious name.  Amen!

 

Great Faith - Luke 7

 
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