“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Matthew 5:44-45
The Sermon On the Mount is found in the Gospel of Matthew. It is a powerful teaching on how to live a life of faith. Specifically, much of what is taught by Jesus in this powerful collection of wisdom is how our thoughts and our actions should reflect the nature of God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches about a difficult but necessary action that we need to be reminded of, from time to time. Jesus teaches that we should love our enemies, in fact Jesus teaches that we should pray for our enemies. Jesus makes it clear that we should love all, because this is how God loves. God’s love is consistent. God loves all, even those who are antagonistic towards God and God’s people.
As a people who are called to “Imitate” God, we should love our enemies as God loves us all. (Ephesians 5:1) Our modern culture offers so many ways to deal with the people we disagree with. We unfriend, unfollow, and lash out. None of those are the practices that Jesus prescribes for His people. When we pray for others, we learn to see them as God sees them, not as enemies, but as part of one creation, a creation loved by the creator.
As a people of faith, we should strive to reflect the nature of God in our own lives. We should seek to love as God has loved us. Today, I encourage you, pray for those who are different from you. Pray for those who have hurt you. Pray for the people who may be the hardest to love. As God loves the whole world, let us pray so that we may begin to love without exception.
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship