In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:10-11
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…
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day, and we were talking about pacifism and self-protection and what Jesus desires from us within those topics. The conversation eventually led to the call to love our enemies. His comment to me, and he was being bluntly honest, was that the call to turn the other cheek was offensive to him and hard to swallow. And my comment to him was…it was meant to be.
I didn’t mean that I think Jesus is a pacifist, or that pacifism is what He is calling us to. I actually think that Jesus calls us to engage this world and actively work against all that is evil, both in us and around us. But my point was this: Jesus meant for His call to turn the other cheek and love our enemies to be offensive, in the sense that He wanted to shake the status quo on how we think about love. He was re-defining love…and it all would come out of His love for us.
Think about it…Jesus died for His enemies (Romans 5). Jesus loved His enemies enough to give up heaven and His life so that His enemies could experience the blessing of being loved by God. And you and I are those enemies that He came to love.
God’s call to love our enemies is a call to reflect His love for us.