Individuals are prone to hating each other, but according to the Gospel of Luke, people should love their enemies and extend good deeds to those who hate them. It is equally essential for individuals to do others what they believe is appropriate to them. Christians should be prepared to go an extra mile compared to sinners, in terms of loving their enemies. Luke’s outlook on loving our enemies is also supported by Matthew and Mark, who reiterated that we should love our neighbors just as if we love ourselves. Thus, Christians should be capable of loving unconditionally, just like God, who provides sunshine and rain to both righteous and unrighteous.
An enemy is someone that an individual does not feel kind towards or somebody that an individual seems to wish that he/she does not exist. According to Charles, this passage implies that it is obvious that individuals must have enemies (182). One commentary about loving our enemies underlined that it is hard for one to adhere to what Luke has indicated in the passage, particularly when individuals lack tolerance and believe that one day, God will exercise justice. Jesus utilized hyperbole to make a point, rather than stretching the truth. Hence, extending good deeds, blessing, and praying for our enemies can help them to change their attitude and begin to love us.
In another commentary, Jesus’ commandment about love seems beyond human ability. However, according to Luke, serving the Lord might attract enmity from people with who we interact frequently. Hating and hurting our enemies could be a natural response, but as Christians, we should extend love to those who hate us. Jesus advised that we should act positively toward our enemies, as we have no excuse for not treating other people well. In addition, we should not take literary some of Jesus’ teachings because they relied on the ancient culture. The slap in the face indicates an insult; hence, if we are insulted, we should avoid retaliation. The most essential part of this passage is to do others, as we would wish them to do to us.
The Gospel of Matthew also touched on loving our enemies. In Matthew 5:43-48, the Bible emphasized loving our enemies so that we can become God’s children. The difference between Luke and Matthew is that while Luke compares Christians with sinners (verse 32), Matthew compares them with tax collectors (verse 46). Matthew advises Christians to be perfect, just like God, by doing what pagans are unable to do. While Luke talks of mercy, Matthew talks of perfection in God’s deeds.
However, Mark does not underline the subject of loving our enemies directly. Instead, Mark urged Christians to love their neighbors as they love themselves (Mark 12:31). This does not imply that all our neighbors are our friends or our enemies, but believers should love them just as if they love themselves so that they can remain closer to God. In this case, love is unconditional since it does not separate friends and enemies among our neighbors.
The appropriate hermeneutical approach for Luke’s passage on loving our enemies is through business dealings. In business, people can refuse to pay, abuse you for poor services, or become jealous due to your progress. Although Jesus’ strategy does not seem to be an appropriate commercial lending policy, it can help businesspersons to develop good relationships with their customers. The best way that a believer can survive in the business world is to use the right channels to deal with conflicts and to follow Jesus’ teachings while maintaining a competitive edge. Jesus’ teaching on lending to sinners implied that creditors and debtors should not fight due to unpaid loans (Lap Yan 83).
Personally, I agree with the above commentaries because loving our enemies can be the hardest thing that an individual can do. It is unimaginable to love somebody who has caused you miseries and pain, yet the Bible tells us that we would be rewarded highly if we do so. However, the reward for being good to others can help believers to remain committed to God’s teachings of love. By praying to our enemies and avoiding confrontations with them, God can help us to deal with inner hatred, which could restrain us from living according to his will.
My opinion is that we should not hate our enemies, as doing so will make them hate us more. Christians should endeavor to act differently since most of what is deemed natural can also be done by nonbelievers. Hence, Christians should be tolerant and not to be quick in judging others. Being committed to Christianity is a matter of doing what we would like others to do to us. This passage is for those who dare to listen, and are keen to follow God’s teaching.
In conclusion, Christians should love their enemies, in addition to assisting them with their issues without expecting any reward from them. They should avoid loving demonstrating love to only those who can reciprocate, but rather extend their love to people who despise them. Striking one’s cheek means avoiding confrontations by choosing to remain calm. Believers should always figure out what they can do to help their neighbors, rather than blaming others for their miseries. They should tolerate their neighbors’ acts and persist in showing love to them. Being God’s children is the aspiration of all believers, hence, they should remain close to those who mistreat and persecute them.
Charles, Henry J. Ongoing Conversion: From Good to Better: The Homilies of Reverend Fr. Henry J. Charles. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris, 2014. Print.
Lap Yan, Kung. “Love Your Enemies: A Theology For Aliens In Their Native Land: The Chin In Myanmar.” Studies In World Christianity 15.1 (2009): 81-99. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.