When I started this study on how to love from the Bible, I’d never thought about how much times the Bible mentions showing love to others not only as an act of kindness to friends, but loving God first and then loving others especially those we consider our enemies.
In today’s verse Jesus turns a common teaching around and explains why it’s so important that we treat others with the same love as God loves us.
But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,Matthew 5:44
In the verse right before, Matthew 5:43, Jesus mentions a common teaching to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Then, in verse 44, Jesus says that’s not right, you should love your enemy. He gets more specific with blessing those that curse you, praying for those that mistreat you and persecute you.
Jesus is teaching us to do the exact opposite of our natural reaction, right? If someone curses you, you will likely want to yell mean words back at them, not say, “God bless you!” (and mean it). Pray for people who persecute you? What? Why would Jesus teach this?
The next verse, Matthew 5:45 tells us. By loving our enemies and blessing those who are against us, we are acting in the nature of God. God loved us when we were sinners, his enemy. God allows the sun to rise and the rain to fall on the believers and non-believers. God blesses both.
By showing love to our enemies, blessing our those who curse us, we are showing the love of Jesus to them. When we show a difference in our lives, others take notice. They start to want this life, too.
When I was a teenager, we had bracelets with four letters on them, “WWJD” which stood for What Would Jesus Do. As you go through your day and start to react to others, ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” and do it.