Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Luke 6: 27-36 (Daily Bread of 5/6/2018)
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES Key verse 6: 27 The first part of this sermon dealt with the relationship between the disciples and God, whereas this second part speaks of their relationship with man. It's hard for ordinary people to accept and obey this part. In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus said that the disciples had to be superior to religious leaders in moral standards (Mt 5:20). Today's Word speaks about that. 1. Love your enemies (27-31) Jesus said that they had to love their enemies and bless those who hate them. The enemies in question are especially those who persecuted the disciples. Two brief examples of this love are cited: refraining from retaliation when a blow is given, and then being prepared to give the gatherer more than he demands. The disciples must be ready to give up their possessions liberally and their behaviour is summarized in what is called the "golden rule" of Christianity in verse 31. 2. Be merciful (20-26) Now, this kind of loving behaviour of enemies would be revolutionary, insofar as most people in the world will be willing and well disposed to do good to those who helped them, or from whom they expect some profit in return. However, if sinners can do so, the disciples must adopt another paradigm of life by going further and renouncing this rule of reciprocity; their love must not simply respond to equivalent love, or expect anything in return. There may be no recognition or reward here on earth (here note the sentence repeated three times "what would you like?") The disciples must know that there will be an invisible reward in heaven, and that they will be considered true sons of God who unfolds His mercy on those who do not deserve it. Our God is the one who makes the sun rise and the rain fall on the good as well as on the bad. The disciples are those who incessantly imitate the noblest virtue of the Lord, which is mercy.