Focal passages: Luke 6:27-36
For many years I thought the most courageous things I could do were to speak up when others wouldn’t, defend myself and make sure anyone who committed an injustice would know it.
However, God has shown me that it can take just as much courage to remain silent or take on what someone else deserves.
Jesus, Himself, remained silent as He was humiliated and didn’t retaliate when He was accused, spat on and nailed to a cross.
Our Lord loved His enemies. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28). We must have an attitude of love that is followed by loving actions.
Jesus’ words in Luke 6:29-31 are both surprising and counter-intuitive. “To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”
But isn’t this the same amazing grace and incomparable love God has shown us? That “while we were yet sinners,” and outright enemies of God, “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
It is easy to love those that love us back and anyone can do good to those who do good in return.
But the love of God calls us to loves those who betray us, commit crimes against us and who hurt us (Luke 6:32-36).
Jesus chose to love His greatest enemies: those who would love others before Him, who would betray Him and whose sins would ultimately put Him to death.
We were those enemies. Our sins cost Him his life.
And yet, He loved us then and loves us now. How, then, should we love?