Our scripture this week is Matthew 5:43-48.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
Matthew 5:43

Jesus tells the people “you have heard it said” and the people had indeed heard it, but not from Him nor the prophets nor anywhere in scripture. Nowhere does it say to hate your enemies. Psalm 139:21-22 records David saying “Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, … I count them my enemies” but those are the words of man, not God.

We have been adept from the very beginning at twisting God’s word to suit ourselves. In Genesis 3:6 we hear Eve’s thinking about the forbidden fruit “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it”. We reason “God only wants good for us and this is good so why shouldn’t we have it?” and that’s how we fall into sin. Obeying our own desires instead of God’s is never a good thing.

Jesus will show us how we have come to believe that if a thing is true then the opposite must be true as well – love neighbor, hate enemies – but He will show us that God’s logic is different. God is love and He wants us to love each other no matter what. It is a lesson Jesus will repeat to us in many ways and show us by His example, loving us all even when it wasn’t easy.

Loving Lord, we are quick to anger and slow to love. You taught us to love each other no matter who we are, no matter what. Help us to obey Your commandment. Amen.

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