“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27
As I often point out, Jesus never tells us, ‘Don’t make enemies;’ He assumes that if we follow his way of radical welcome, indiscriminate love, and passionate justice, we’ll make enemies. He just tells us what to do with them once we have them.
Jesus made plenty of enemies. Already, just a few short chapters into the Gospel, some Pharisees have accused him of blasphemy, others have called him a lawbreaker; some religious scribes have questioned his habit of drinking too much and partying with the wrong people. Oh, and his friends and neighbors from Nazareth have tried to kill him. Still early days, and already he’s made plenty of enemies.
So, against this backdrop, these words of Jesus, this command of Jesus to love my enemies, sounds especially discordant. One more thing Jesus says, as Andrea pointed out last Sunday, that makes no sense.
I’ve been thinking about my enemies lately. People I consider closed-minded, bigoted, deluded, even hate-filled. People who are actively opposed to me and anything I stand for. I’m okay with loving them, as long as I can do that just in theory–if I can just sit in my chair and feel love for them. It’s this Jesus thing of actively doing love to them and for them, that’s what I have trouble with. Sorry, Jesus.
Come this Sunday, and let’s puzzle this out together.