Main point summary
Even though you have heard that it is ok to hate your enemy, I say to you that you should love your enemies for the purpose of being like your Father in heaven. Indeed, if you only love those who love you, you are no different than the world.
f “You have heard that it was said,
You have heard of the saying,
g ‘You shall love your neighbor
You are to love and care for those among your community
and hate your enemy.’
and those outside of your community, your adversaries, you should hate.
But I say to you,
However, rather than hating your adversary
i Love your enemies
You are to love and care for your adversaries
and j pray for those who persecute you,
and ask God to bless those who treat you badly because you are a Christian,
k so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
Do this so that you imitate your Heavenly Father just like children imitate their earthly fathers.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil
As you know, he gives sunny days to those who reject him
and on the good,
and to those who obey him.
and l sends rain on the just
And he gives rain to both the righteous farmers
and on the unjust.
and to the unrighteous ones.
m For if you love those who love you,
Indeed, if you love people who love you,
what reward do you have?
are acting in a way that sets you apart from the world that would deserve a reward?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Even the unrighteous tax collectors do this.
And if you greet only your brothers, 1
Also, if you only kindly greet those who are part of your community,
what more are you doing than others?
are you being holy and set apart from the world?
Do not even n the Gentiles do the same?
Even unbelievers do this!
BUT, I say to you that you should love your enemies for the purpose of being like your Father in heaven. Indeed, if you only love those who love you, you are no better than the world.
As you know, conventional wisdom says that though you are commanded to love your neighbor, but it is ok to hate your enemy.
Loving those who loves you does not result in a reward because everyone can do that.
Greeting only those in your church is nothing special. Indeed, even pagans do that.
The conventional wisdom of the day
Return love with love
“You have heard
that it was said,
‘You shall love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’
Jesus’s command: love even your enemies
Love your enemies
But I say
Love your enemies
and pray for those
who persecute you,
Purpose: be like your father
so that you may be sons
of your Father
who is 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.
Loving those who love you is not special
... ^ if you love those
who love you,
[For] ... what reward do you have?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet only your brothers,
what more are you doing
Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Head, heart, hands
1. Head How should I think differently about God/myself/others? God even loves his enemies. He is kind to unbelievers. Also, I see that non-believers are able to be good at loving those who love them. The kind of love I should be impressed with is love for one’s enemies. Also, this passage implies that Jesus’s followers will have enemies. It isn’t something we should be alarmed about. Our response shouldn’t be to compromise the gospel. Rather, it should be to love them. What doctrines are taught? What specific contributions to those doctrines does this passage make? 1) God gives common grace to everyone. 2) He is sovereign over the sun and the rain. 3) God is our Father. 4) We will receive a reward for doing hard things (e.g., loving our enemies) for the sake of obeying God. What other scripture texts add to the truths taught here? Luke 6:27-36 is a parallel passage. Several other passages teach that we should love and care for our enemies: Exodus 23:4-5 teaches that we should help our enemy in time of need. Romans 12:20 says that instead of retaliating against our enemies, we should provide for their needs. Also, it says that when we do this we will “heap burning coals on his head.” Job 31:29-30 and Psalm 7:3-4 indicates that a man who is righteou s will not be happy when something bad happens to his enemy or pray for something bad to happen. We also have the example of Jesus (Luke 23:24) and Stephen (7:60) praying for God to forgive the people who are killing them. 1 Peter 3:9 calls us to bless those who persecute us 2. Heart How should I feel differently about God/myself/etc? I should be humbled that God loves even his enemies when I struggle to love my enemies, yea even my friends. I should love God more for this fact. I am also reminded that my love for others who are like me and love me is nothing special. It is is not counter-cultural. Loving these people is certainly good, but it is not all that God requires of me. What emotions are expressed in this passage? I do not see an explicit expression of emotions. But loving and hating can certainly involve emotion. It is very tempting to hate our enemies, being angry with them. And it is naturally to have loving emotions to our friends and family and neighbor. Also, when we emulate our father we have some emotion. Our heart is warmed. It feels good to please our father and be like him. What emotions does this passage lead/exhort me to feel? I think that loving our enemies means more than begrudging service. I think that Jesus is telling us to have loving emotions for our enemies. Not the same emotions we have for friends and family, but still an emotion of love. And this passage shows us that when we love our enemies our hearts can be warmed because we are pleasing our father and emulating him. 3 . Hands How should I act differently? I should love my enemies rather than wanting to harm them. I should do good to them. And I should pray for my enemies so that God would do good to them. Not just that God would change them and save them, but that God would do material good to them. What motivations does this passage give for acting differently? To be like our father. To feel the joy and comfort of being like our father, being like what we were create d to be. What sins do I need to repent of and put off? I need to repent of my hate for my enemies. Rather than praying for my enemies and doing good to them, I am angry with them in my heart. What good works do I need to put on? I need to put on love and good works for my enemies. And also prayer for them.
Love Your Enemies 43 f “You have heard that it was said, g ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, i Love your enemies and j pray for those who persecute you , 45 k so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven . For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and l sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 m For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, 1 what more are you doing than others? Do not even n the Gentiles do the same?
Love Your Enemies 27 “But I say to you who hear, s Love your enemies, t do good to those who hate you, 28 u bless those who curse you, s pray for those who abuse you. 29 v To one who w strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic 1 either. 30 x Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And y as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32 z “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And a if you b lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But c love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and d you will be sons of e the Most High, for f he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 g Be merciful, even as h your Father is merciful.
18 s You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but t you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord .
19 Honor your father and mother, and, n You shall love your neighbor as yourself .”
14 e Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them . 15 f Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 g Live in harmony with one another. h Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. 1 i Never be wise in your own sight. 17 j Repay no one evil for evil , but k give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, l live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved , m never avenge yourselves, but leave it 1 to the wrath of God, for it is written, n “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, o “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good .
4 g “ If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him .
24 y “If I have made gold my z trust or called a fine gold my confidence, 25 if I have b rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because c my hand had found much, 26 d if I have looked at the sun 1 when it shone, or e the moon moving in splendor, 27 and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, 28 this also would be f an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above. 29 “ If I have g rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him 30 ( h I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse ),
34 And Jesus said, “ Father , r forgive them, s for they know not what they do .” 1 And they cast lots t to divide his garments.
60 And y falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, z “ Lord , do not hold this sin against them .” And when he had said this, a he fell asleep.
3 O Lord my God, q if I have done this, if there is r wrong in my hands, 4 if I have repaid s my friend 1 with evil or t plundered my enemy without cause ,
2 Timothy 4:16
16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me . n May it not be charged against them !
1 Peter 3:9
9 y Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, z bless , for a to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Walk in Love 5 1 j Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children .
14 Do all things j without grumbling or k disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, l children of God m without blemish n in the midst of o a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine p as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to q the word of life, so that in r the day of Christ s I may be proud that t I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be u poured out as a drink offering upon v the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
17 Yet c he did not leave himself without witness, for he d did good by e giving you rains from heaven and f fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with g food and h gladness.”
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as b the Gentiles do, for c they think that they will be heard d for their many words.
32 For l the Gentiles seek after all these things, and m your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.