Why love your enemies?
February 20, 2022
Main Scripture Reference(s)
Luke 6:27-36
Matt 5:44-48

Why love your enemies?

February 20, 2022 / Luke 6:27-36 Matt 5:44-48

Why love your enemies?

Chaplain Sean Crow 
Main Texts:  Luke 6:26–36; Matthew 5:43–48

I. Introduction

Paraphase of: 1 Peter 1:3-5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

When we think of these peculiar times, as a follower of Jesus I think of what was happening in His time and ministry among the people.

II. Background

A. The times of Jesus

1. Many were looking for hope…in all the wrong places.

a. Work-based salvation

b. Waiting for a militant messiah

2. As Jesus entered the scene, he became known as a great teacher.

B. Sermon on the Mount; conclusion of Beatitudes

1. Jesus was concluding the beatitudes and warnings to the people,

2. Jesus final beatitude changed in its tone, as a call to his disciples.

C. The call to be different; how to treat our adversary

My notes:

III. Scripture

Luke 6:27–36 

* In regards to the old question by the one who said ‘whose my neighbor’, then do many Christians ask ‘who is my enemy?’

My notes:

A. Aramaic definition of enemy seems simple

1. Hostile

2. Foes

B. Hebrew definition stems from events & history

1. Enemies come from a corporate past experience.

2. Roots of the elements of the word enemy include warfare, and Satan.

3. Scripture quotes most of what enemy is at large, is anything that strives against God.

C. The root application of ἐχθρός, -οῦ, ὁ, -ᾶς, ἡ (echthros), meaning a personal enemy.

My Notes:

Why love your enemies?

We are different, bought with a price

The redeemed of Christ must show His love

1. An “AGAPE” love that does not come from us.

2. This Love may even put us at odds with our own nature of fight/flight.

a. Christian Pacifism

Luke 6:30 shows a hard saying for most, as even I have been caught up in the mode of preparation and readiness for my family, community and country.

It is a fine line that is a broad stroke most Christian pacifists underscore to demonstrate how we should respond to thieves looters and robbers.

b. Christian militancy

This while others who tote the militant stance remind us of Matthew 5:38 or John 18:10 in how Peter had a sword typically known for self-defense. Where then does self-defense and the line of violence for one’s sake or safety fall in line in dealing with “the enemy”?

My Notes:

c. The nature of love is to respond as identifying with Christ.

Luke 6:33-34 “And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.”

I’ve seen followers of Christ are scoffed and mocked when adversaries of the gospel quote “good people” seem more civil and do better than so-called believers.

Why love your enemies?

We must identify with Christ, if we are to be raised with Christ

Luke 6:27 

The crux of the statement, saying how we should feel and act towards personal enemies. This is foundational on the identity of the Christian that is following Christ to show the love from without , that there is truly love within.

Matthew 5:43-48 

Some may think that to be Christian is to mean no-one is our enemy (a false dichotomy)

Anyone who has been cut-off in a line, cut-off in traffic, or been made fun of or taken advantage of knows what a personal enemy could be. Christ asks that we identify with him an in his suffering.

Romans 15:1-3  

• The word “reproach” in more literal terms means insult.

• To identify with Christ is also to let the insults we endure to pass along to Him (if we are doing his Will and not our own pleasure) as he promises to help us

Luke 6:28 this means to double-down on such love, blessing others and praying for the very ones that may despise and hurt you, that may try to threaten your future.

Luke 6:29 This verse is similar to Matt 5:41 in that one gives, as through going “the second mile”.

My notes:

Why love your enemies?

God loved us when we were enemies of the cross

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

This is the crux of 1 John 3:13-18 that points us into the direction like Steven Curtis Chapman would say “What about the difference?”

1 John 3:13–18 

Romans 12:17-21 

“In Christ’s command to love, etc., he asks us to show the evidence in our lives that the gospel blessings have been truly appropriated by us, and that we have taken the warning of the woes to heart. In the Baptist’s words (3:8) those who do repent must show the fruits that are worthy of repentance”.1

1 Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (pp. 358–359). Augsburg Publishing House.

Gal 6:10 

Luke 6:34–36

My notes:


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