“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, and do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you”. Luke 6: 27-28
Continuing… “And pray for those who spitefully use you”. We are to understand this is going beyond a hateful attitude and hateful words. This gets into hateful deeds. This is a person who does more than speak hurtfully; he acts harmfully.
The actions of Love. Part of our problem with this words from Jesus is rooted in our understanding of love. Love has become sentiment and emotion in our day. We just sense the impossibility of having the same feelings for an enemy that we have for a member of our family. But this word used by our Lord is not emotion or sentiment. It is action. It is the will to do a person good and not evil.
The actions are selfless. When you realize that a person or someone hates you, your first natural reaction is to think of yourself. Jesus describes actions in which self-interest are set aside that the interest of the enemy may be considered. Jesus admonishes, “Do good to those who hate you”. This is translating the love – the desire to be helpful to the person – into some positive action. It could involve finding some need in the life of that person and then meeting that need.
“Bless those who curse you”. The natural reaction is to defend yourself from hateful words and to seek to discredit the source of such words. Love will ignore self and seek to build up the enemy. Literally, it means to invoke a blessing on that person.
“Pray for those who spitefully use you”. This is what Jesus did. As they were “spitefully” nailing Jesus to the cross, He was praying, “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do”.
Love will always find a way to do for the enemy what you would want done for yourself. Jesus is not calling for what is naturally done in the world of sinners, but what can only be done supernaturally by those who know the Lord Jesus for themselves. “Love Your Enemies” – because “People Matter”
Because He Is – I Am