Luke 6: 27-36 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 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. 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. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.“
While the word “enemy” may seem severe, and you may not think you have any, perhaps an “enemy” in your life is someone whom you struggle to think kindly about.
Christ commands us to love our enemies. It goes without saying that we love those who love us. Christ knew that wouldn’t be where our flesh would be challenged. As verse 32 and 33 say, even sinners love those who love them, do good to those who do good to them, and lend to those who will pay them back.
It is hard, grueling work to do good to those whom we see as our enemies, but what a beautiful picture to show love by doing good to those who don’t deserve your love. Jesus was the perfect picture of doing good to others when He died on the cross for the very ones who crucified Him. And even more than expecting nothing in return, He gave his righteousness to all those who call upon His name.
The command to bless and pray is challenging. Especially as it follows the command to love our enemies and do good to those who hate you.
Have you ever prayed diligently for someone who fits into any of these categories in your life? It is hard to not start caring about them. You may have heard the saying that you can’t hate someone you pray for. And not a prayer in passing, but actually getting on your knees and seeking the Lord on their behalf.
If we are loving our enemies and doing good to those who hate us, won’t people notice us? Won’t they ask themselves, and maybe you, “why?” Going against the norm shouts God’s glory. We should want others to look at us and ask, “why?” Why did we love our enemies? Why did we do good by those who hate? Why did we bless when we were abused? Why did we give without asking anything in return?
Why? Because of Christ. Because He loves them too. God is great. Let’s show his greatness to the world by how well we love.
ACTION STEPS with your kids: Read Luke 6:27-36 with your kids. Ask them if the Lord brings anyone to mind when reading this passage. Pray for those they named, asking the Lord to change their hearts towards them. After you’ve prayed together, brainstorm ways they could show God’s love to them.