Jonathan's Perspective  

Mar 26

'LOVE LIKE CHILDREN'

Jesus doesn’t let us coast in life. Just when we think we are doing well, he raises the bar.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt 5:43-45)

This passage challenges us on several levels. First, Jesus says that reciprocity isn’t a good standard for love. I like being nice to those who are nice to me. That is basic human instinct--everyone does that. Jesus wants us to love those who give nothing in return, or worse, mock us or use our kindness against us. We should ask ourselves, “how well do I love when I don’t get anything in return?”

Next, Jesus challenges us to love those opposed to us. It is interesting that Jesus has two categories – 1) those who we consider our enemies and 2) those who consider themselves our enemies.  Jesus is telling us to love those we hate and those who hate us. Now consider that Jesus was talking to people who had a family member or someone they knew who had been beaten, flogged, imprisoned, or put to death by the Roman persecutors. That kind of enemy puts love at a whole new level.

Finally, Jesus points to God’s love as the true standard to emulate. God’s love has no limit. Jesus tells us that wherever the sun shines and the rains fall, there God’s love is poured out. God equally loves those who love Him and those who hate Him, those who are trying to live right and those who are base and vile. That is boundless love!

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, someone asked Jesus, “who is my neighbor?” What is the appropriate limit of my love? When someone is in need of love, it is up to us to supply it no matter our feelings and prejudices. We are to love without reciprocity, without regard to our feelings, and without limits. Then we will love like true children of the Father.

Inviting you further into the Kingdom,

Jonathan

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