(27-36) Love Your Enemies
Jesus is not telling us to do anything that He has not done Himself. When He was here on earth, Christ did not only love those who followed Him. He also loved those who hated Him like the scribes and Pharisees. While He was hanging on the cross, He prayed for His Father to forgive those who were abusing His body. He taught, He healed, and He fed others without expecting anything back in return.
If we were kind and good people, it would be easier to understand why God would send His Son to die for us. But God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. The merciful miracle is that He loved us at our darkest. We did not love Christ, yet He loved us anyway. We were not good to Him, but He was good to us anyway. We did not give Him anything, yet He gave us everything.
(37-42) Judging Others
Instead of focusing on the faults of others, Christ urges us to focus on our own faults. It is easier for us to spot the specks in others while ignoring the planks in ourselves, but we must make a conscious and consistent effort to examine, correct, and improve ourselves. Sabrina Gauer challenges us to work on our own planks. “It takes conscious effort to love instead of judge,” she writes. Read her full post here.
Favorite verse: (35) 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.