Matthew 5:43-48

Facing an enemy

How are we, as Kingdom citizens, supposed to live in an atmosphere of hate that permeates the world? What are we supposed to do when human beings cease to see each other as humans but only as enemies?

Love your enemy

In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:43-48), Jesus tells us about the inner workings of the Kingdom of God and what Kingdom ethics looks like. Kingdom citizens are called to love.

A different mindset

Instead of subscribing to the common mindset of “hating our enemies,” we are commanded to surprise them with love. By saying, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Jesus turns our views of what we want to do to our enemies upside down.

A different love

It is not the love of friendship, romantic relationship, and family that we are commanded to give to our enemies. Instead, as God’s children, we are called to imitate our heavenly Father in giving a love that is self-giving and generous.

A different kind of “perfect”

Jesus calls his followers to have a “righteousness [that] surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law” (Matt. 5:20). The perfection that we are called toward is found when we become fully human in Jesus Christ.

An opportunity to shine…

As Christ followers, we have an opportunity to show the world what our heavenly Father is like. We were once God’s enemies, but because of Jesus’s death, a way of reconciliation was opened (Rom. 5:10). Jesus has already done what he is asking his followers to do. It is in living in His life that we can love even the most unlikeable. Who are your enemies and how will you respond? What will the world see?