27 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.
30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' do that.
34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' lend to `sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full.
35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Loving Jesus’ Way (6:27~36)
The Lord Jesus Christ continues to teach how life in God’s kingdom is radically different from life in the kingdom of this world. Worldly wisdom says that if someone hits you, you hit them back even harder. The last thing you want is to say something nice to your enemy, let alone do something good for them. Jesus, however, offers His followers a new way of doing things: love those who hate you. We cannot do this on our own; it takes the work of the Holy Spirit in us to enable us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. Jesus Christ is our role model. He died for us while we were still His enemies (Rom. 5:8) and prayed for those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).
- Is there anyone who persecutes you or is hostile to you because of your faith? Take time to pray for them.
Do Not Judge Others (6:37~38)
You call someone to follow up on a very important matter, but he does not pick up or even return your call. It gets on your nerves. “He must be irresponsible, or maybe he is angry with me—but why?” Though you did not intend it, you find yourself judging him. The problem with judging is that it is usually based on unfounded assumptions. We perceive people’s actions and make judgments about their attitudes and motives from our one-sided point of view, and many times we later find out that we were wrong. This kind of judging (which is different from discernment based on truth) is self-centered and ignores our own failures and prejudices. It is void of love, compassion, and generosity, and that is why Jesus preaches against it.
- Have you ever been offended by someone who criticized you without first seeking to understand you? Next time you are tempted to criticize someone, first seek to understand them.
A letter to God
Father, You know all things; I do not. When I am tempted to judge other people, remind me that when I was estranged from You, You responded to me with mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.