I was not at all planning on writing about this but I was laying down thinking about a passage that came to me,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father 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. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
I’m sure most would agree with me that it’s not at all hard to love someone who naturally loves you back like your family and friends. I’ve never heard of someone having an issue with showing acts of kindness towards others who bless and are kind to them nor have I heard of anyone having an issue with praying for someone who shares their interest, comforts them or make them happy. That’s why after reading what Jesus said, I realized that loving the very ones who don’t reciprocate back to us, was the biggest challenge anyone would ever have to face.
After reading the passage I wondered why was it so important for Jesus to challenge his followers with this difficult task of pressing our love for those who may have hurt us or who detest our very existence. I believe Jesus wanted his followers to come up higher from what they have been taught and into a place where He reigns and the world is subjected to; a place of love, power, peace and perfection. Being that Jesus is Love, he requires those who follow him to possess who he is.
Was he giving his disciples an unreasonable demand? Yes, from a natural standpoint. Jesus is full aware that our natural man isn’t capable of fulfilling such a demand. It’s our natural instinct to repay evil for evil and good for good. Therefore, paying good to those who do evil goes against our human nature. However, from a spiritual standpoint Jesus was very reasonable. Jesus expected his disciples (and us) to depend on Him to fulfill the task of pressing our love to a whole new level and he knew that this challenge was predicated upon us living beyond our natural instinct into a life that is dependent on His Spirit. Jesus challenged his disciples because he wanted them to grow beyond who they were, beyond their humanness. Now, this is what he challenges us to do and if your really ready to grow, try taking a real challenge!
Ready for a REAL challenge???
1. Try loving someone who hates you.
2. Try giving to someone who didn’t share with you.
3. Try praying for someone who doesn’t pray for you.
4. Try forgiving someone who doesn’t even know they need to be forgiven.