I was listening to a podcast from Asbury Seminary today and wanted to share these insights. Dr. Joe Dongell was leaching (a mix between preaching and lecturing) and shared these five reflections on Jesus’ command to love our enemies.
1) Jesus assumes the constant reality of enemies. (Isn’t it the case whenever a people are a people of truth they will have enemies?)
2) Jesus doesn’t identify who our enemies are – they could be people who seek our lives, our jobs, our reputations, our self-esteem and our peace of mind and they may do this intentionally or unintentionally. (I feel the need to point out that when we – the church – ask who are our enemies we must not automatically assume that America’s enemies and the church’s enemies are one and the same.)
3) Jesus doesn’t settle for non-hatred of our enemies. He tells the story of a young man who spoke of a woman who hated no one in the world. Dr. Dongell was impressed for about five minutes and then he realized that a dead dog hates no one in the world. Jesus calls us to love our enemies.
4) Jesus isn’t impressed by our ability to love those who love us.
5) In calling us to love our enemies Jesus is asking us to imitate God’s own ways – remember that God pours water on the unrighteous as well as the righteous.
As you ponder what it means to love your enemies I pray that Christ’s Spirit will lead you into truth. Do the same for me, would you?