Jesus was no stranger to being hated. He was hated by the hyper religious Pharisees, and the stoic Scribes and Sadducees for teaching beyond their traditions, and getting back to the heart of scripture. He was despised by the Priests who saw Him as a threat to their position. He was slandered, mistreated, and even (during His trial before them) abused. And yet, all He could say of them in His torment "Forgive them Father, they do not know what they are doing." He wept over them, ate with them, and sought to point them to the One who could redeem Israel. Jesus did good to those who hated Him. He practiced what He preached. He loved sacrificially As His followers, how do we take HIs lead? In this hyper divided, hyper partisan climate we live in, how do we do good to those who hate us and love our enemies? Consider Jesus' words on the subject in Luke 6:27-36: “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Are you loving those who hate you? Are you seeking their welfare and good? The Word tells us that while were His enemies, Christ died for the ungodly, and while we were sinners, Christ died to redeem us (Romans 5:8-10). Consider that, former enemy of God! Jesus died for you so that You could belong to Him! Should we, then, love our enemies and do good for them and to them that they, too, may know that love that Jesus has? Shouldn't they know redemption and restoration? So then, if Jesus can sacrifice to restore us, so can we. If Jesus could love us at our most unlovable state, we can love those who would count themselves as our enemies. Let us be like Him, seeking to let God perfect us in Love.