You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. [Matthew 5: 43-45 NLT]
Jesus ends this section of his sermon by dropping a spiritual atomic bomb.
In this he crushes those who aspire to live according to the letter of the law.
In a few words he reveals to us the true nature of divine love.
In this passage Jesus destroys every effort of self-righteousness.
Jesus rebukes an age-old practice of hatred towards those who are not Israelites.
In another place he regales a Samaritan, one of a people hated by most Israelites.
Jesus lays bare and destroys all excuses by telling us to love our enemies.
Love, and pray for, those who abuse, persecute and mistreat us.
It is one of the most amazing teachings in all of literature.
He challenges us to live our lives out with unconditional and sacrificial love.
Really, you cannot love your enemy if you have conditions.
This kind of love is in agreement with the spirit of the law.
I repent of conditional love Lord. Fill me up with your kind of love.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.