“But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you'” (Matthew 5:44).
There are “hard sayings” (cf. John 6:60) from the Lord that challenge us and are totally contrary to the mind of the natural man. We are tempted to say, He didn’t really mean it that way, did He? Well, the answer is, yes, he meant it that way. It is the way of God, the way of His Grace and the way of the Cross.
The Apostle wrote to the Church at Colossae:
“And you that were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works; yet, now has He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).
We say it almost in a trite way, “God is Good”. Well, it is a fundamental truth, God is Good. Out of His goodness God shows His lovingkindness to everyone. Jesus said in His continued discourse of Matthew 5:44:
“That you may be the Children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
God is all about Redemption, Reconciliation and Salvation. The way God accomplished this three-fold purpose was through His Love, Sacrifice, and Unmerited Favor, His Grace.
The Apostle followed His Master in the command to love your enemies and instructed the Church at Rome with the words:
“Therefore, if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head” (Romans 12:20).
“Heaping coals of fire on his head” is a metaphor for overcoming evil with good. The Apostle makes this plain in the next verse:
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
Love Your Enemies is a way of victory in the evil age. It is the way of faith, trust, and dependance on Almighty God. It is not the easy way, but the narrow way, the strait way, the way of the Lord.
The Apostle Peter wrote in his first Epistle concerning this virtue of Christ:
“Who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (I Peter 2:23).
The Apostle wrote concerning the wicked:
“The way of peace have they not known” (Romans 3:17).
Love Your Enemies is the way of peace in our turbulent world. Our Fathers were men of peace and good will and took the Gospel of Peace to the four corners of the earth.
Well did Zacharias, the Priest, and father of John the Baptist prophesy on the day of John’s Dedication:
“And you child shall be called the Prophet of the Highest, for you shall go before the Face of the Lord, to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on High has visited us to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the Way of Peace” (Luke 1:76-79).
Love Your Enemies: The way of victory, the way of peace, the way of Life, the way of Great Reward.