Summary: loving your enemies is great in theory...
Radical Love can bruise your ego.
WWJD is easy at times but some times it goes totally contrary to human nature.
Example - Matthew 5:38-48.
The problem is with wwjd is it makes sense until it comes time for getting even
Loving your enemies is great in theory but the practice is so much harder.
Then the whole WWJD must be understood in terms of Radical Love.
Three stages of understanding about what these responses mean
Stage 1 – Radical love is for wimps
Too often we associate these actions with that of a wimp, someone who is too spineless to respond.
One – someone slaps your face, it’s an insult your supposed to be insulted, and walk away, what does offering you other cheek do? It’s say hey I am not humiliated by you.
Now who looks stupid, the guy who has had his face slapped or the guy who is doing the slapping, who humiliated who.
Two – If someone sues you for your coat give them your shirt as well, a coat was a way of guaranteeing a debt, if you could not pay it back then they would usually take your coat.
In a society where in general the average person wore two layers of clothes, a coat and a long shirt.
What is basically being said is don’t just give him your clothes give him your undies too.
Give him your undies and watch their embarrassment. Nakedness is taboo in Jewish society.
Three – Romans had the legal right to pick on any one to carry their bags for on roman mile,
go the extra mile and watch that soldier fall over.
Imagine the embarrassment upon his mates face when he tells them what happened and they don’t believe it,
I mean people do not do that sort of thing
Stage Two – Radical love is a great way of embarrassing people.
Love your enemies, well that’s a bit easier if we can embarrass them in the process.
Stage Three – God’s Radical love for us should be our radical love for the world.
But that is not where Jesus is coming from, we should love our enemies because while we were God’s enemies he sent his son to die for us.
In the story of the crucifixion these three things come up again
The soldiers slapping Jesus’ face.
Them stripping his clothes of his back and
Making him carry a cross,
it wasn’t enough that they humiliated him, they went that extra mile and made Jesus carry the cross through streets of people.
And even after all this Jesus was able to say Father forgive them.
Why forgive your enemies because Jesus forgave you.
Rights what rights?.
When someone hurts us, or does something against us we probably have every right to be angry to feel pain.
But this isn’t about our rights,
It’s about doing the right thing
Jesus was well within his right to say stuff the lot of yeh
Go to hell,
But he gave up these right to take his place on the cross.
He died a death for our sins.
He gave up his rights so we could live
Remember what happened on Good Friday?
While Jesus was hanging on the cross,
he prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
Jesus was in the business of loving his enemies,
doing good to those who hate him,
blessing those who curse Him
and praying for those who persecute him
For Jesus loving your enemies was not just a theory.
Jesus showed us that it can be done.
If he could do it under such excruciatingly painful conditions,
so can we under any circumstance.
As a matter of fact, it will really set us apart as his followers in a world that promotes hatred, violence, retaliation, an eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth.
We show we are God’s children by how we act.
Jesus says that we will be known as God’s children by how we reflect God’s mercy and goodness in the way we treat one another.
Think about that for a moment.
Can you say in all honesty that you would want God to treat you in the same way that you treat others?
Can you say without the shadow of a doubt that you would be absolutely ecstatic if God did the right thing by you in the same proportion as you do the right thing by others?
If God had mercy upon you in the exact same measure as you have mercy on others, would that be reason for great rejoicing?
If God kept score on you the same way you keep score on others, would you look forward to the scorecard?
Would you be squealing in delight at the showers of blessing that would pour upon you?