“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” – Jesus – Matthew 5:43-44 ESV
Notice something; the word “Love” is capitalized in this text, even though it follows a comma. Admittedly, not every translation, or version, of the Bible capitalizes love in this text. But many do. Why? Why is normal grammar broken in this text. I really can’t say. And I haven’t found anyone who can. But there’s a sense that love is supposed to stand out. More so than it usually is. This isn’t any sort of love. This is agape love, 100% love. It stands out and above the love we have for friends and family. I don’t mean that it’s more important to love our enemies, or that we should love our enemies more than our family and friends. Jesus’ point was that we should have agape love for everyone. Including the unexpected. Humanity tells us to love the people close to us. And it seems natural and healthy for us to hate our enemies. But humanity and what seems natural are so often wrong. Have you prayed for a terrorist? Why not? Jesus died for them too. That’s what Jesus is talking about here. He’s talking about a love that supersedes life and speaks to eternity. He’s talking about a love that in the midst of conflict realizes there’s more. He’s talking about a love that is more concerned with salvation than comfort. And that’s Jesus. He didn’t come to die for people He thought were doing really good. He came because He loves us all, no matter how evil we may be. Because He came in the name of Love. He came to destroy evil. And there’s no better weapon agains the evil and ills of this world than love. And so He came with His Love. And He died for Love. And He rose with Love. And Love won. What are we arming ourselves with? I hope it’s the unexpected.
God is Love and you are loved,