The Law Of Love
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Matthew 5:43-47, NKJV)
The Mosaic Law commanded you shall love your neighbor (Leviticus 19:18). Yet some teachers in the days of Jesus added an opposite, and evil misapplication: an equal obligation to hate your enemy.
“They generally looked upon all the uncircumcised as not their neighbours, but their enemies, whom the precept did not oblige them to love.” – Matthew Poole
Instead, Jesus reminds that in the sense God means it, all people are our neighbors, even our enemies. To truly fulfill this law we must love, bless, do good and pray for our enemies, not only our friends.
Jesus understood we will have enemies, yet we are to respond to them in love, trusting that God will protect our cause and destroy our enemies in the best way possible, by transforming them into our friends.
In doing this, we are imitating God, who shows love towards His enemies, by sending rain on the just and on the unjust.
“You see our Lord Jesus Christ’s philosophy of nature. He believed in the immediate presence and working of God. As the great Son of God he had a very sensitive perception of the presence of his Father in all the scenes around him, and hence he calls the sun God’s sun- ‘He maketh his sun to rise.’” – CharlesSpurgeon
This is an example; that we also are to love our enemies and bless them if we can. In doing so, we show ourselves to sons of our Father in heaven.
“We are made sons by regeneration, through faith in the Son; but we are called to make our calling and election sure – to approve and vindicate our right to that sacred name. We can only do this by showing in word and act that the divine life and principles animate us.” – F.B. Meyer
What do you do more than the sinner? We should regard it as no matter of virtue if we merely return the love that is given to us.
Remember, Jesus here taught the character of the citizens of His kingdom. We should expect that character to be different from the character seen in the world. There are many good reasons why more should be expected from Christians than others:
- They claim to have something that others do not have; they claim to be renewed, repentant, and redeemed by Jesus Christ.
- Disciples do in fact have something that others do not have; they are in fact renewed, repentant, and redeemed by Jesus Christ.
- Christians have a power that others do not have; they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them.
- They have the Spirit of God dwelling within them.
- And they have a better future than others do.
Lord God, by Your Spirit, empower us to live the law of love in this dark and dying world. We seek to live out the love of Jesus that some might be saved. In Jesus name, amen.
1 Year Bible Reading