In THE GRACE OF GIVING, Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to o … More
The Pharisees taught that a person should love those near and dear to them but that their enemies should be hated (v. 43). Jesus defined one’s enemies as those who curse us, hate us and try to take advantage of us selfishly. Jesus stated that Israel should demonstrate God’s love even to her enemies (v. 44). Then you will be acting like your father in heaven who makes the sun and the rain and sends them both to people who do right and to those who do wrong. (v. 45).
How does a person love an enemy? Man is never commanded to attempt to love his enemy on the basis of mere human affection but rather on the basis of a love which comes from God. It is not something that man can “muster up” within himself. In other words Christian love is an act of the will and not simply an emotion. This kind of love is expressed by blessing them that curse you, doing good to them that hate you and praying for them that despitefully use you.
Jesus goes on to say that to love only those who love you (v. 46) and greet only your brothers (v. 47) is doing no more than the tax collectors do. He expects us to live on a much higher plane than lost people of the world who return good for good and evil for evil. The word perfect (v. 48) does not imply sinless perfection as some have implied, for this is impossible in this life. Instead it suggests completeness and maturity as the sons of God. Our goal should be to always act like our Father.
If I have someone that has some bad feelings toward me I need to figure out what steps I will need to take to restore that strained relationship.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 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. For if you love those who love you, 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 than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
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Matthew 2:1-12The Anticipation of the Messiah
Matthew 2:13-23Flight to Egypt
Matthew 3:1-6The Preparation of The Messiah
Matthew 3:7-12The Pharisees and Sadducees
Matthew 3:13-17The Baptism of Christ
Matthew 4:1-11Three Major Tests
Matthew 4:12-17Persecution of Followers
Matthew 4:18-25Ministry in the Synagogues
Matthew 5:1-12Sermon on The Mount
Matthew 5:13-20Fishing For Men
Matthew 5:21-26Anger is Murder in The Heart
Matthew 5:27-32Divorce And Remarriage
Matthew 5:33-42Unfair and Unreasonable Treatment
Matthew 5:43-48Love Your Enemies
Matthew 6:1-4How to Giving?
Matthew 6:5-18Practice of Prayer
Matthew 6:19-24The Love of Wealth
Matthew 6:25-34Do Not Worry
Matthew 7:1-6Judging And Hypocrisy
Matthew 7:7-12The Golden Rule
Matthew 7:13-23A Professing Christian vs a True Christian
Matthew 7:24-29Building on the Right Foundation
Matthew 8:1-17Healing Miracles of Christ
Matthew 8:18-27Motives of Service
Matthew 8:28-34Jesus Transfers Demons to Pigs