Summary: Jesus tells us to love our enemies. This is not an easy thing to do, but we are called to do it. This is a revamp of a 1996 sermon I did.
Kid’s views on Love: What do most people do on a date?
• On the first date they tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. Mike, 10
• I’m not rushing into being in love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough. Regina, 10
Some surefire ways to make a person fall in love with you.
• Tell them that you own a whole bunch of candy stores. Del, 6
• Don’t do things like have smelly, green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain’t the same thing as love. Alonzo, 9
• One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me. Bart, 9
How can you tell if two adults eating dinner at a restaurant are in love?
• Just see if the man picks up the check. That’s how you can tell he’s in love. John, 9
• Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold. Other people care more about the food. Brad, 8
• It’s love if they order one of those desserts that are on fire. They like to order those because it’s just like how their hearts are . . . on fire. Christine, 9
What most people are thinking when they say ’I love you’?
• The person is thinking: Yeah, I really do love him. But I hope he showers at least once a day. Michelle, 9
How a person learns to kiss.
• You learn it right on the spot when the gooshy feelings get the best of you. Doug, 7
• It might help to watch soap operas all day. Carin, 9
• When you think about love, what comes to mind? Pictures of romance, family, children?
• We picture love as something that is feeling based or emotional based.
• Every day couples who once were “in love” will say that they no longer “feel” like they are in love with their spouse to the point of wanting to end the marriage. Boyfriend and girlfriend relationships end every hour because that feeling that once was there is lacking.
• For most people, it is easy to love people close to them. We can love our children, our spouses, our family and friends. We can love people who are good to us, or people who do things for us.
• In this part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is going to give us one of the most difficult things for us to do, love our enemies, love people who are mean to us or who persecute us for doing the right thing. Why would Jesus expect such a thing out of us? How many of you want to love someone who is mean to you? There has to more to love than just a feeling if Jesus is commanding us to love?
• Today the title to my message is, “I Have to Love WHO?”
• I hope that after today’s message that if you are struggling with loving people you may not like, or if you are having trouble loving a spouse, child or someone who used to be close to you, that this message will help you.
• For everyone else, we all need some help and encouragement loving people who have wronged us or who are not too nice to us.
I. THE OLD WAY (VERSE 43)
• This is the sixth way that our righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, the way that we choose to love.
• Jesus is quoting in part Leviticus 19:18 which says, “’You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
• You will notice in verse 43 that there are a couple of differences between what Jesus says and what Leviticus says. Notice two things. First, there is no reference to hating anyone and notice that God told the people that they were to love their neighbors as they loved themselves.
• What Jesus has done in this instance is He has combined the scripture with the commonly taught practice of the day.
• In the context of Leviticus 19 and other Old Testament passages, the Jews understood their neighbor being fellow Jews. They were under the false impression that they did not have to love those who were not Jews.
• The part about hating an enemy came from an inference that the Jews made from the Old Testament. When the Israelites were taking possession of the Promised Land, God told them to kill EVERYONE and not to make treaties with many of the inhabitants of the Promised Land (Ex 34:11-16 as an example). They drew the inference that God hated these people and therefore the Jews were to hate them as enemies.