What I’m Thinking: The Hardest Commandment

In the previous section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seemed determined to take the high standards of his day and push the bar higher. In this section, he makes it nigh on impossible: “Love your enemies,” he says. Isn’t loving our friends hard enough?

Here’s a transcript:

In last week’s Gospel lesson, Jesus looked at some of the commandments and some of the wisdom of ancient Israel, and what it told the people to do. He then took the bar, and he set it higher. He made them more of a challenge.

Well, this week in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 5:38-48), as Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount, he offers what I call the Hardest Commandment: that we should love our enemies, not just those who love us. 

Well, that is hard. I’m not worrying about how we feel here; I’m worrying about what we do. Because when somebody is cruel to us, then it is difficult to behave in a loving way no matter what we feel.

The other reality is that sometimes loving another means to resist what they’re attempting to do to you. It’s not OK that somebody harms us, and they need to know that. They need to stop for their own good as well as for our own.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. I’m interested in hearing what you’re thinking. Leave your ideas in the comments below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on February 12, 2017

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