After a month long hiatus, I am back. Between filling out paperwork, faxing stuff, packing and moving to Arizona, I just have not found the time to write on my blog. But we are back and I pray that this is edifying and helping to grow you up in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Speaking of Jesus, let’s pick up where we left off in Luke 6.32. We were discussing the love for our enemies part of this sermon and I submitted to that Jesus does not want us to become door mats but is rather, through hyperbolic teaching, emphasizing the type of love for your (my) enemy we are to have. It is a sacrificial love; the same kind of love we are to have for our brothers.
Now Jesus is going to ask some rhetorical questions to his audience and indeed to us today. The first question is in verse 32:
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?”
The answer Jesus gives: everyone in the world does this kind of thing. Even the dreaded ‘sinners’ do that sort of thing. ‘Sinners’ also do good to those who do good to them. Hence, it is of no credit to the disciple to the same as the rest of the world. No, Christians are better than that; I submit they are proactive in the good doing and loving showing. And here is why I say Jesus does not want us to be the door mats of his hyperbolic teaching. Proactivity will beat the “enemy” to the punch. We get the drop on him before he can slap our face, steal our coat, or take our wallet. Hence, Jesus’ statement in v.35:
“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”
That is to say based on your love for your enemy, before he even asks for anything, you’re giving it. You’re busy doing good to him and giving, being proactive in showing your enemy your love for him. It is this kind of proactive love that Jesus is calling the disciple to because, as verse 36 commands (all “be’s” in Scripture are imperative commands): “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
To demonstrate proactive love to your enemy and to do good to him before he can do evil to you is to be like the Father for he was proactive in his love toward us. Before we could sin against him through disobedience, he had a proactive love which planned a plan for our salvation. He was merciful before mercy was needed. From before time, God was active in showing his love to his “enemies” (Romans 5.10) by preparing in advance the vicarious death of Jesus. Therefore, to be proactive in love toward our enemies, we are identifying with God and his mercy.
I do not presume to say that this is the only inpretation. Clint also has some great ideas about this passage which I look forward to hearing. And also you, constant reader, feel free to correct or expound upon these thoughts as well.