Want to know God in charge? Like it or not, excessively generous love is where you will find Him. Chances are we won’t like it.
This is the peak of the mountain Jesus is leading his hearers to climb.
Enough to be persecuted by people who live by the rules of this world.
Enough to value making peace more than justifying contempt.
Enough to be more concerned about the integrity of your heart than the legitimacy of your status.
Enough to aim for turning enemies into family.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
(39) But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil.
- But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
- (40) And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
- (41) And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
- (42) Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
(43) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
(44) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) 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.
- (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
- Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
- (47) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?
- Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
What if I don’t wanna get slapped, sued, bullied and begged on? What if I love US and hate THEM?
Well, just ask yourself: Who’s your daddy?
The world’s love is for self. GOD’s Love is generous; overflowing the boundaries; the cup runneth over.
(48) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” – M.L. King
*What we want to ask about is how literally to take this or that. As a teacher I hear the question as “Is this going to be on the test?” Translation: “Do I really need to pay attention to this?” My suggestion is we should actually consider Jesus’ lecture as worth understanding. We should suspend application questions until we have come close to understanding meaning answers. But they are upsetting; no question.
“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
— C.S. Lewis
So, what does all this indignity bearing stuff mean? It means people should believe God is just and irrepressible. It means people believe that other people are to be redeemed and reconciled, not rebuffed and eradicated.
For God so loved the world He gave. Will we?