Jesus يسوع: Love Your Enemies
Read Jesus' teachings about following him here (John 13: 1-35, Matthew 5:38-48 and 20:25-38). Pray God will open your heart to what He is showing you today.
Jesus' message of salvation is radical. Therefore he calls us to be radical: be the servant of other people and love our enemies. This is hard! Only people who are truly touched by God's power and mercy can do this.
Would You Allow Jesus Wash Your Feet?
Imagine if the Queen of England washes your dishes. How would you react? Now think about Jesus washing your feet. It is hard to imagine!
Peter's response of shock is understandable. But what about Jesus' response to Peter?
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” (John 13: 8)
What is Jesus saying?
Jesus' whole purpose on earth is to wash our sins away, our most shameful, filthy, unloving part of our lives. If we do not allow Jesus to wash us, of course we would have no part in his grace and salvation.
If we want to accept God's gift of salvation and forgiveness of our sins, we'd better understand who Jesus is and accept what he has done for us.
Jesus Came to Show Us Servanthood
“Just like the Son of Man who did not come to be served by people, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people." (Matthew 20:28)
We are the servants of God. Jesus came to demonstrate clearly to us he came to serve and not to be served, so that we can follow his example.
As we surrender our lives to Jesus, we are called to serve others. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay for the price of our sin. When we say we follow Christ, we give up our right to our lives and accept a life of suffering and sacrifice too.
Love My Enemies???
This is probably the most shocking and revolutionary teachings of Jesus. We like to imagine God's Messiah would help us crush our enemies. But God's way of victory is through love and sacrifice, not hate and violence.
Jesus himself demonstrated by example that this way is the only way that brings real change to the world.
Jesus' teachings in Matthew 5:38-48 seem to be a list of impossible human behaviour. Actually, Jesus was preparing his followers for the coming reality of persecution. Later many Jesus' followers throughout history would face torture, imprisonment, rejection and murder because of their faith.
Instead of becoming bitter with those who persecute you and cause you pain, we are to pray for them and bless them. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44 to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Who would have the power to love their enemies?!
Who has the power to do this? Such power can only come from God.
Throughout God's revelations to all the Prophets, God Himself has demonstrated His love and mercy to forgive and love all the people who have sinned against Him. This was ultimately demonstrated by the fulfilment of all the promises in God's covenant: the Messiah Jesus.
Only people who have truly understood and experienced God's forgiveness can forgive other people. Only when you are empowered by God's love can you show this love to other people who have hurt you.
This is why Jesus insisted to wash his followers' feet in humility. Only then could they be changed by the experience and humbly do the same to others.
Your Response: Listen to God and Pray...
What does it mean to have Jesus wash your feet? How would you feel? How would you respond?
In what ways has God loved His enemies?
Do you need God’s power to help you love and pray for an enemy?
If following Jesus means suffering and being persecuted, would you be willing?
Who will you share these teachings of Jesus with?