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21 August 2011

5 Things Jesus Taught That We Apparently Ought Not Take Literally (Part 3)

Welcome to number three! I've thought about this for a while and I may retroactively change the title of this series to "5 Things Jesus Taught That He Apparently Didn't Really Mean," because these really aren't literal-vs-figurative issues.

That being said, let's move along and have a look at another important thing Jesus said during the Sermon on the Mount that He didn't really mean for us to do (therefore it may not be so important):

(Obligatory note that this is intended to communicate a point by using irony.)

3) "You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!" (Matthew 5:43-44, NLT)

I'm not sure I really need to elaborate on this one. But I will, otherwise I wouldn't really have much of a post here, would I?

Who in his right mind would do this? Oh, I know some of us can muster up a prayer for our enemies, but it's probably often something along the lines of, "Father God, I just want to ask You, Father God, to just please make it clear to Aunt Mabel, Father God, that she is dead-wrong and I am right," or "Lord, I pray You'll give Joe Bob the smack-down for the way he treated me last week. Vengeance is Yours, as Scripture saith. Any may it be sweet."

To be sure, some people claim that Stephen in the first-century Church seemed to think that Jesus meant this to be acted upon: "As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' He fell to his knees, shouting, 'Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!' And with that, he died." (Acts 7:59-60, NLT) However, this can easily be dismissed by noting the cultural differences between our society and society 2,000 years ago.

I anticipate that the majority of Christians reading this don't particularly love their enemies or pray for blessings on them. I say this because I've been in that boat, and probably only 2% or so of the Christians I've ever known actually put this into practice. No, I don't know every Christian, but I'm confident that I know a healthy representative sampling of them.

Therefore it's glaringly obvious that we should consider this teaching of Jesus to be something that isn't really meant to be put into practice, but rather an unattainable spiritual concept that is always to be thought of in a good way. If we dwell on this idea long enough, we will start to think it's actually true of us (though in fact it may not be representative of us at all). And that makes Jesus proud of us.


John King said...

Well I commented on Pt1 an 2..I think I see how you got to this point of loving your enemy.
Due to what i've written in the past. Some may not belive me. Some may say im contridicting myself. But this is different.
Loving your enemy is very easy for me. Even a terrorist...yes...hear me out.
1st, lets get the terrorist statement made clear. We are at war. We are at war within our boarders. As well as outside. In war time. When not in battle. The terrorist may interact with a soldier. Share a cigerette. An move on.
This was something that was made very public during the Civilwar. Men from the North, trading with men from the South. But remeber Battle....this is love for your commrade. Those in the military and law enforcement are taught this.
Moses led troups. He prayed for his own men, as well as the enemy. Thats love in my perspective. If you will pray for your enemy than you love them.
As I posted in Pt1 and 2. you dont have to respect your enemy. An really how can you respect evil. But yes you can love Evil. Evil cant stand love. Love always wins as does grace.
Inconclusion, I love all. I dont give up on someone. But after a period of time if evil continues. Than a battle will begin.
Question, David didnt go looking for a fight. He was provoked an his God, Our God was being made fun of. David stood up no weapons except a rock an a simple sling. David was full of love. This is the question now. If I go an conquier my enemy who made fun of God. Am I a sinner. Or am I as like david. A defender. what would make God happy. Standing up to evil with love an faith....or eun with my tail between my legs. I say fight for god. But only at a last resort..ok need to hear from all of you your opinons. im david right to speak..

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