Loving Your Enemies – Matthew 5.38-48
“Love your enemies” – one of the most challenging and, to my mind, most important parts of Jesus’ teaching and example. This is where the rubber hits the road. It’s easy to love the people you like. It’s quite easy to love the people you pity (although is it really love, if it comes with a side-order of condescension?!). But loving the people who don’t seem to love you, or just loving the people you don’t much like – there’s the challenge.
And there too is the gospel. Good news for all means good news for all – including the people to whom we might not particularly want to bring good news. Because the gospel isn’t ours to bring, we are only the messengers. It is Jesus who invites, and he invites all.
The same all-encompassing grace which gives me a place at the table will see my own worst enemy seated there beside me. That is the radical nature of what Jesus does. If we want to embrace – and be embraced by – the gospel, it has to be all of it. The good news is not “you are saved”. It is “the whole world and everyone in it is being restored to the image of God”. It cannot be good news at all if it is not good news for all.