Saturday, October 21, 2017

Uncovering Jesus's Radical Message, Part 2: Love for Enemies

Consider this teaching from Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5:43-44 and Luke 6:27: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,' but I tell you, 'Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.'"

Let's plug that into modern America: 
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love America and hate terrorists,' but I tell you, 'Love terrorists and pray for ISIS and al-Qaeda.'"

Or how about this:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your country and hate North Korea,' but I tell you, 'Love Kim Jong Un and pray for North Korea.'"

Or plug in your own best friend together with that person at work who you can't stand. Or that guy from high school who was cruel to you. Or that old boss who treated you badly. Or that politician or celebrity you just despise.

I saw a post on Twitter recently that I really liked. It went something like this:

Jesus says there are two kinds of people:

Our neighbors, whom we are to love.
Our enemies, whom we are to love.

It's pretty simple, but radical and even subversive.

And hard to do.

How many Americans, after all, feel love for Kim Jong Un? How many victims feel love for their oppressors?

Being a follower of Christ isn't easy. If it is, I'd argue you're not following Christ. 

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