Summary: REAL LOVE IS SHARING IN THE NATURE OF GOD!
LOVE / HATE RELATIONSHIPS
READ TEXT ROMANS 12: 9-21
PREACHED TEXT MATTHEW 5: 43 –48
INTRODUCTION: The pilot was Jewish, and the co-pilot was Taiwanese. It was the first time
they had flown together, and it was obvious by the silence that they didn’t
After 30 minutes, the Captain finally spoke. He said, "I don’t like Chinese."
The co-pilot replied, "Ooooh, no like Chinese? Why is that?"
The pilot said, "You guys bombed Pearl Harbor. That’s why I don’t like
The co-pilot said, "Nooooo, Noooo... Chinese not bomb Pearl Harboh. That
JAPANESE, not Chinese."
The pilot answered, "Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese... it doesn’t matter.
They’re all alike."
Another 30 minutes of silence. Finally the co-pilot said, No like Jew."
The pilot replied, "Why not? Why don’t you like Jews?"
"Jews sink Titanic."
The pilot tried to correct him. "No, no. The Jews didn’t sink the Titanic. It
was an iceberg."
"Iceberg, Goldberg, Rosenberg. No mattah..all same!"
When we hate our enemies we give them power over us - power over our sleep, our appetites, and our happiness. They would dance with joy if they knew how much they were worrying us. Our hate is not hurting them at all, but it is turning our days & our nights into hellish turmoil.
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day comes from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5 verses 43-48. These are the very words Jesus spoke concerning this very issue of prejudice and hate. His desire was to lead us away from past misunderstanding to the reality of present perfection, living the very nature of God. But how do we transition from what we think is right to what Jesus teaches is right? How do we learn to love those that we have been taught to hate? How do we overcome our own insecurities with others and learn to respect them for the sake of the Gospel? HOW: We must take on the very Nature of God!
THESIS SENTENCE: REAL LOVE IS SHARING IN THE NATURE OF GOD!
I. GOD’S NATURE IS NOT WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD (VV. 43)!
A. Past teachings are not always past realities!
1. Just because it was taught in the past, does not mean that the teaching is true.
ILLUSTRATION: Paul Harvey tells the story of a young woman who was married and starting a family. As she stated buying her household wares, she bought a 2lbs roasting pan just like her mother and grandmother used. After years of trying to cook for a large family with this 2lbs roasting pot, she asked her mother, why they had never bought a larger pot. “Would it ruin the flavor of the roast?” “I don’t know,” replied her mother, “Your Grandmother always used a 2lbs pot roasting pan, so I have as well. Why don’t you call your Grandmother and ask her.” So the young mother called her Grandmother and asked if it would ruin the flavor of the roast if a larger pot were bought. The Grandmother laughed and laughed, “I always used a 2lbs roasting pot because it was all I could afford, so I made due with what I had. It will not ruin the flavor of a roast to us a pot that it will fit in.”
PAST EXPERIENCES DO NOT NECESSARILY RELATE TO PRESENT REALITIES.
2. Jesus quotes not what is written, but what people are saying.
3. Leviticus 19: 18 reads, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against on of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
4. The Rabbinical teaching on this verse was that it was strictly focused on one’s won people and therefore it could be concluded that one was to hate one’s enemies. We carry that same thought today. We must love those like us, but hate those different from us. “If this is not true, I am a monkey’s uncle.”
B. Past teachings are not always Present Realities
1. Jesus teaches that this command was really about dealing justly with other, not about hate and racism!
2. If you look at Leviticus 19: 33—34, it will clarify the whole matter: “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
3. Jesus teaches a new Reality! He clarifies past misunderstandings!
II. GOD’S NATURE GOES AGAINST THE NORM (VV. 44)!
A. Normal reactions are not always right reactions
1. Jesus changes our mind set about what is normal and what is abnormal.
2. Jesus says, “It should be normal to love your enemies.”
3. Is this what Jesus was really teaching?
4. Context is always the key.