Episode 118 Show Notes
How Do We Love Our Enemies?
From the Show
How do we love our enemies?
As we're talking here, I think of a sermon from Martin Luther King on loving enemies, and I just want to read a passage, it's really helpful….
"So, Jesus says “love,” because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated…One day as Napoleon came forward and said that at a very early age, he had all but conquered the world. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have built great empires, but upon what did they depend? They depended upon force. But long ago, Jesus started an empire that depended on love, and even to this day, millions will die for him. See, I can see Jesus walking around the hills and valleys of Palestine and I can see him looking out at the Roman Empire with all of their fascinating and intricate military machinery, but in the midst of that, I can hear him saying, ‘I will not use this method. Neither will I hate the Roman Empire.’ And all around the world this morning, we can hear the glad echo of heaven ring:
“Jesus shall reign where'ere the sun does his successive journeys run, his kingdom spreads from shore to shore till moon shall wane and wax no more." We can hear another chorus singing, “All hail the power of Jesus name.” We can hear another chorus singing, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, he's King of kings and Lord of lords. Hallelujah, hallelujah.” We can hear another choir singing, “In Christ, there is no east or west in him. No north or south, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide world."
This is the only way. There is a little tree planted on a little hill of Calvary, and on that tree hangs the most beautiful, most influential character whoever came into the world. But never feel that that tree is a meaningless drama that took place on the stages of history. Oh no, the telescope through which we look out into the long vista of eternity and see the love of God breaking forth into time, it is an eternal reminder to a power-drunk generation that love is the only way. So, this morning as I look into your eyes and the eyes of all my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you, I love you. I would rather die than hate you. And I'm foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love of Jesus Christ, somewhere men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed. Then we will have from on high, the power to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to even decide to be good to those people who hate us, and we even prayed for those persons who despitefully used us. Oh God, let us join together in a great fellowship of love and bow down at the feet of Jesus, give us this strong determination. In the name and spirit of this Christ, we pray. Amen."
Questions in this Episode
1. Doesn’t a lack of having the assurance of salvation help us to stay motivated to do good works?
2. If Jesus is so loving, why does he say in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword"?
3. How do we love our enemies?
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