Striving to Love Your Enemies

Nov 22, 2012 | Uncategorized

Exodus 23:5, “If you see that that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help.”

The verse above was spoken by God directly to Moses. It is like a different spin on a parable of Jesus that He spoke in Luke 10:25-37, the parable of the good Samaritan. But this one is in the Old Testament. Its surprising how every time you read the Bible, something new is shown you by the Holy Spirit.

“Parable of the Good Samaritan” | Jan Wijnants, 1670, Oil on Canvass

It is surprising that this verse is embedded among instructions involving justice. What does this verse really tell us? In my opinion, its telling me that the best kind of justice one can obtain is by doing good to your enemies. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:43-48, “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. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

I thought that the verse I just mentioned was something new in the New Testament. That Jesus was teaching something radically different. And it WAS different! Our normal selves will tell us to go for “an eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth,” much like in Jesus’ days. It was the same then and its the same today. But not with God.

I agree with you my friends, this kind of teaching in the Holy Word of God is very hard to obey. Who says its easy to become a child of God? Its not! And that is why we are being changed form one level to another or what the Bible says as “from one glory to another.” There are some people who changed in an instant when they met Jesus. For many, its along the usual road of dying to one’s self every day and taking up one’s cross, also, everyday. Its not impossible to do and experience, remember, with God, all things are possible.

I agree with you my friends, this kind of teaching in the Holy Word of God is very hard to obey.

Jesus did not have an easy time on earth. Why should we have it differently? Jesus was persecuted intensely during his ministry but He still loved each and every one of those who hated Him. Even those who plotted for His death. That would not be hard to believe if you know Jesus.  And if you do  truly know Him, then life’s difficulties, yes, even treating your enemies good, will be a lot easier.

Help us REFRESH others with the life-giving Word of God today!

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