Saturday, 20 February 2021
“…love your enemies and do good to those who hate you…” -Luke 6:27
Our reading today focuses on the ‘Beatitudes’ and at the heart of it, Jesus’ teaching on Love. While the Golden Rule is: “Treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (V.31), Jesus Christ not only forbids treating others spitefully but also commands that we love even our enemies. If we need to understand “love” as a Christian virtue, we need a close examination of the word and its application.
Before we can obey it we must discover what it means. In Greek there are three words for Love:
eros - describes passionate love
philia –describes our love between our nearest and dearest; the warm affection of the heart.
agape- describes an active feeling of benevolence towards people; it means no matter what others do to us,, desire nothing but their very best and we deliberately go out of our way to be good and kind to them.
The love which we bear towards our near and dear ones is something we cannot help. Falling in Love is quite common in our day. But loving our enemy is something that involves not only our heart but also our will. It is by the grace of Christ that we bring our will to do so. How can we apply such a love?
Who do we have to Love?
Love those who hate you (willfully and intentionally hurt you) - V.28
Love those who think bad of you or curse you- V.28
Love those who have struck you- V.29
Love those who snatched from you- V.29
Love to those who are in need- V.35
How can we Love others?
Love compels us to think the highest good of our enemy.
Love compels us to pray for our enemies as we really want something good to happen to them
Love compels us to bless our enemy
Love compels us to give the best to him meet his material/physical need (Rom.12:20)
Love is not which demands back- it is selfless love not expecting any return.
Can we examine our demonstrations of love? Do we meet and greet only those who do the same to us at church? Only our close friends and those we know? Jesus says, greet not only those you don't know; greet those who are at odds with you. Of course there is more you should do if there is estrangement between you and the other person. But you have no license from Jesus to snub someone; "Love your enemy" even means something as simple as, "Greet them."
Where do we get this power to Love others?
God has poured his love into our heart by the Holy Spirit whom he has given to us (Romans 5: 5).
While I was a sinner, Christ died for a wretch like me, as in my mind I was at enmity with the Loving Father.
What do we get by Loving Others?
Jesus showed by example how He endured the mistreatment of His enemies through all the periods leading to His death on the cross for you and me. Hebrews 12: 2 says, “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..” Luke 6:35 tells us “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.”
Prayer: “Almighty Father, thank You for loving us by giving Jesus Christ. LORD, give us the mind of Christ and empower us through Your Spirit to accomplish Your task by using us as a channels of Your love in this dying world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen