Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Luke 6:27b
Read: Luke 6:27-36
Listen: Luke 6
For many Muslims, Jesus’ command to love your enemies just doesn’t make sense. Islam places a high value on justice, and Jesus’ command seems unjust. Instead of loving your enemies, the highest value is on treating everyone justly. This stems directly from the perceived nature of Allah. While Allah is regarded as merciful, the Qur’an often focuses on justice for the Muslim community.
The God of the Bible is concerned with justice. He will judge all things in the end. However, his role as judge gives his followers the confidence that they don’t have to pursue justice at all costs in their own lives. Furthermore, Jesus provides an example for us when he forgoes justice and instead pours out his grace and mercy on us through the cross.
“Love your enemy” only makes sense if there is a God who has lavished you with grace—and you, in turn, respond with grace. It’s grace in, grace out. As we continue to understand the gravity of what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplished for us, we should overflow with grace and mercy. Our adoption into God’s family grounds our identity as dearly loved children. When we are rooted in this identity, we realize we can trust God to take care of us. Our trust in God allows us to love our enemies instead of trying to get even.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Reflect on who you are unwilling to show grace or mercy to. Is it a friend who hurt you? Is it a group of people you think don’t deserve it? Do you need to change the way you respond to any perceived slight? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where you need to change. Today, when you start to feel your desire for justice or to get even begin to percolate, stop in that moment and ask God to help you show grace and mercy.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.