- Jesus is the King
- We are part of Jesus’ new kingdom
- Jesus teaches us how to live in this kingdom
This is the crazy, unbelievable, I-don’t-know-if-I-can-do-that command from Jesus. Turn your enemy into your neighbor by loving them – Matthew 5:43
- What does Jesus have in mind – Matthew 5:44-45
– Love (ἀγαπάω) to welcome, entertain, to enact the will toward the benefit of the other person
– Enemy (ἐχθρός) hated, odious, or hateful.
Based upon this Old Testament teaching – Leviticus 19:17-18
Love your enemy does not mean:
Fake it – just play nice
Ignore it – just avoid
Gossip it – just talk down to others
- How does Jesus expect me to do this? – Matthew 5:44-45
Pray for them
Reason #1: this is what being part of this new family of God is like
Reason #2: this is what God is like when He blesses others
Jesus would meet with anyone:
• Tax collector
• Member of the Sanhedrin
• Demon possessed person
• Roman soldier
• Person with leprosy
- Maturity in your relationship with God is measured by your love for your enemy – Matthew 5:46-48
My Step from Paganism:
TALK IT OUT
- In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus made this statement, “You have heard
that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you:
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-
44, NIV) Pastor Rusty summarized these verses this way, “Turn your
enemy into your neighbor by loving them.” Why is Jesus’ command so
hard for most of us?
- In practical terms what does it mean to love your enemies? In practical
terms what does it not mean?
- Praying for our enemies strongly suggests that God has the power to
change them. However, praying for our enemies also has the potential to
change us. How do you think God might change you as you love your
enemies and pray for them?
- Read Luke 23:32-43. As Jesus was dying on the cross he gave a practical
demonstration of how this command could be lived out. How does Jesus’
prayer, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
illustrate the meaning of what he said in Matthew 5:43-44? How did Jesus
demonstrate his love by promising that the dying criminal would be with
him that very day in paradise?
- 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of the centrality of love. In verses 4-5 Paul made
the point that love keeps no record of wrong. Why is that so difficult to do?
How is intentionally not keeping a record of past wrongs essential to loving
- How can God’s demonstration of love and forgiveness help those of us
who have been forgiven to love, pray for and forgive our enemies?
LIVE IT OUT
- Make a list of your enemies and ask God to help you show them love.
- List the specific things you are going to pray about for those on your list.
- How will you commit to follow God’s example of love and forgiveness when it comes to loving and forgiving your enemies?
- Jesus died for his enemies, what specific things are you going to do to love your enemies?