Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Loving our Enemies

"You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."

This is part of the radical living Jesus has for us as his disciples. This is not Jesus telling us to be doormats where people can walk all over us. We are not to ignore the complete wisdom of Scripture. But Jesus is teaching us here that vengeance is not ours. We are not to retaliate against those who persecute us. Vengeance belongs to the Lord alone. Jesus goes on to talk about the love we are to display to those who persecute us:

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" (Matthew 5:38-47)

This sort of living is a supernatural work of God in the life of a sinner. All praise to God alone.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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