“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
In today’s passage, Jesus set a whole new standard for moral behavior. That is why He starts this part of His sermon on the Mount by saying, “If you are willing to listen.” Our Lord knows how hard it is to follow what He is suggesting. But what makes this teaching even more amazing is Jesus did not just teach this, He lived it! This was not a political speech with moral platitudes given in order to get our votes. This was a mandate for those that He was calling to follow Him in His own lifestyle. If we are to follow Jesus, we must love as He loved. When asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus said, ‘“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”’. So it is no wonder that Jesus taught us to love our enemies! To do good to those who hate us. To bless those that curse us. To pray for those who hurt us. And to turn the other cheek. These are ways to truly love others. Jesus said it best, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” So today, let us love others the way Jesus has commanded us to.
Father, help me love with Your love. Help me see others with Your eyes. Help me be filled with Your compassion, guided by Your Holy Spirit, used as an instrument of Your peace. In Jesus’ name.
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