43 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor — and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!45 Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike.46 What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that!47 And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim (Gentiles) do that!48 Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The bold words above once again refer back to the Torah. Jesus was quoting from Leviticus 19:18. The next line Jesus spoke is one that has become controversial. It is another that is often used to say that Jesus changed what was taught in the "Old Testament."
If we read what was in Torah however, or if we look at the Tanakh (Old Testament) as a whole, no where does it say to hate your enemy. Yes, the Children of Israel were told to get rid of the evil in the land and clean it out, but they were never told to "hate." Jesus was once again disputing what the religious teachers of the day were telling their students to do. It wasn't based on what God said, it was based on what men were teaching.
Jesus always disputed what the religious teachers were bringing as "truth." He never spoke against what God gave in Torah. In this short section Jesus is bringing Truth about how to treat others and reminding the people that they need to bring the LOVE of God to those they meet. He was teaching them to be different than the world (even the Gentiles are friendly to only their friends).
God calls us to be different. To act different. What does that mean for us today?
Always take the time to stop and think about who you are taking care of. Look beyond those who are taking care of you, and do your best to find all kinds of people to love. Be wise, don't be ignorant and get in trouble, but love to the best of your ability.
Love and blessings,
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