Jesus calls us to ‘Love your Enemies’… But is that only New Testament teaching? When exactly are we introduced to the idea to love your enemies?
Let’s begin with an excerpt from Psalm 35
Psalm 35:11-14 reads,
“Fierce witnesses rise up;
They ask me things that I do not know.
They reward me evil for good,
To the sorrow of my soul.
But as for me, when they were sick,
My clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting;
And my prayer would return to my own heart.
I paced about as though he were my friend or brother;
I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.”
King David and Love
In spite of the cruelty others impose on David, when they are in need, he prays for them. He looks after their needs. He devotes his heart to them.
David knew, from his relationship with the LORD, that we are to love our enemies.
When Saul wanted to kill David out of fear and jealousy, David knew not to touch the LORD’s anointed. His turn would come…
David knew we are to respect our enemies.
And so when Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-48,
“… love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. …”
it may have shocked the hearer, but it was not new.
The Holy Spirit inspired David. The Holy Spirit was with Jesus. The Holy Spirit inspired all scripture — it is all GOD-breathed.
So, our commitment to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, is not Jesus’ revelation but GOD’s from centuries before.
GOD is consistent. He asks us to be consistent: to love Him, to love our neighbour, even to love our enemy.
Love is the most important quality in us. GOD is love. GOD in us is love.
“… But the greatest of these, is love.” (1 Corinthians 13)