When Jesus Christ preached in Matthew chapters 5-7 (see also Luke chapter 6), commonly known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’, He spent His time on explaining significant truths in the Old Testament that were misapplied by the Jewish leaders during that time. One of the truths that Jesus preached is about love, especially on loving our neighbours.
Jesus explains that loving our neighbours does not only apply to those who love us, but He also commanded us that we should love our enemies too. To love our neighbours means to love both the lovable and the unlovable.
The world teaches us to love those from whom we can benefit and hate those that hurt us. But Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
God is calling us Christians to raise our standards in loving our neighbours. He then uses the illustration of the much-needed ‘sun and rain’ falling on both just and the unjust.
Loving our enemies is something unpleasant and uncommon to everyone. It is a command that is impossible to attain by our efforts, and this can only be possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to demonstrate the Christian spirit. Remember, in Galatians 5:22-23, love is the fruit of the Spirit. What seems impossible for people becomes possible for those who trust Christ as their Lord and Savior, and to those individuals whose lives are yielded to the Spirit.
Jesus Christ gave us an example in the cross of Calvary. God willingly gave His only begotten Son even when we did not deserve His love. So, how can we not love our enemies?
Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”