"Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you, and persecute you;" (Matthew 5:43-44). This is one of the more difficult commands in the Bible for Christians to put into practice. How can we love our enemies? The answer is hinted at in the next verse, " that ye may be sons of your Father who is in the heavens," (Matthew 5:45a). Jesus himself set the example by reaching out in love to sinners. Sometimes he was criticized for it, but the criticism did not stop him, because his heart was filled with compassion for those who were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). Look at the encounter of Jesus with a rich man in Mark, chapter 6. Mark says, "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions (Mark 10:21-22). Jesus looked at a man who rejected him with love. What does this say about the heart of Jesus for sinners? It says that Jesus cares deeply for them and knows that their true happiness is not dependent on earthly things, but their relationship to him. Would Jesus ask us to do something that he himself did not do? Of course not. We are to love our enemies because Jesus chose to love his enemies. Christ’s love for the lost ultimately led him to the cross, where he offered up his life, so that those who come to him by faith, seeking his forgiveness would obtain it. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8). Human love could never be greater than Divine love. God loved the whole world, a world of ungodly sinners. The Father sent the Son into the world to save it, not condemn it. If God's love was limited, then Christ's command to us to love our enemies would be hypocritical. He would have been commanding us to do something that he himself did not do. But thanks be unto God who does love sinners such as I, and yes, he loves you too. This is good news for all men, the very center of the gospel of Christ. Go tell those who are lost, the good news. This is the greatest love you could show them, even those who oppose you.
“God bestows His blessings without discrimination. The followers of Jesus are children of God, and they should manifest the family likeness by doing good to all, even to those who deserve the opposite.” F.F. Bruce