Jesus’ sermon reveals how to live in his kingdom when we face so many challenging situations. How do we remain a Jesus follower?
The kingdom principle is to do the opposite of what comes your way and not the same response.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven”. (Matthew 5 v 43-45)
The preacher spoke, “I’ll bet that many of us feel as if we have enemies in our lives. So raise your hands if you have many enemies.” And quite a few people raise their hands.
“Now raise your hands if you have only a few enemies.” And about half as many people raise their hands.
“Now raise your hands if you have only one or two enemies.” And even fewer people raised their hands.
“See, most of us feel like we have enemies.”
“Now raise your hands if you have no enemies at all.” And the preacher looks around, and looks around, and finally, way in the back, a very, very old man raises his hand. He stands up and says, “I have no enemies whatsoever!” Delighted, the preacher invited the man to the front of the church. “What a blessing!” the preacher said. “How old are you?
“I’m 98 years old, and I have no enemies.” The preacher said, “What a wonderful Christian life you lead! And tell us all how it is that you have no enemies.”
“All the fools have died!”
A funny story and maybe true?!
The Scribes and Pharisees had brought their own interpretation to Scripture resulting in hating your enemy.
Jesus says the unthinkable. It seems impossible. How can we do this? To love and to pray for those who are against us?
It leads to us having to cope with loss. And that is what the core of love is.
If you have given out more than you have received back then you are venturing into the kingdom life.
There needs to be loss in your life. The loss of loving someone who doesn’t return that love.
The loss of helping those who just take.
Loss because there is no hope of getting anything back from your kindness and generosity.
When you question whether it was worth it; when you ask whether you have been taken for a ride; when you see nothing from your acts of kindness it is then when you enter the kingdom life.
The Kingdom Life is a life where you look like God, especially in front of your enemies. They may be ungrateful and they may not recognise what you do but He sees. God can see you identify with Him for this is who He is and what He has done and does today.
So if today you meet that awkward, self-centred, seemingly unavoidable person then be kind. Lose. Be like God, love, pray for them and you will be doing so from the place of the kingdom.