Luke 6:27-38 by Pastor Dan Walker
One of the hard sayings of Jesus was His command to Love Your Enemies. Who is my enemy? How can I love my enemies? How does God the Father treat His enemies? Learn the answers to these questions and more from the teaching of Jesus on how to Love Your Enemies. In order to be blessed in life, we must understand and put into practice the instructions of God's Word. The principle of sowing and reaping is of vital importance. You will reap what your sow, both in this life and in eternity. Don't miss out on this important message.
Duration:35 mins 30 secs

Today, we going to continue in our message series – Learn from Jesus. In many of Jesus’ teachings, there are what some call “hard sayings.” These hard sayings are often not hard to understand, they are hard to obey, hard to put into practice.

Today, my message is entitled “Love Your Enemies.” This is a hard saying of Jesus. Not hard to understand, but hard to do. As we begin to think about loving our enemies, we need to answer the question, who is my enemy? Some might say, well, I have no enemies. We’re going to see that everyone has enemies, lots of enemies, whether they realize it or not.

What is an enemy? The dictionary defines enemy as “someone who is actively opposed or hostile to you.” The word enemy or enemies is used 30 times in the New Testament. So, let’s see what the Bible has to say about enemies.

Philippians 3:18-19 (ESV) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

These verses speak of enemies of the cross, these enemies are unbelievers. e were all enemies of the cross before we were saved.

Romans 5:10 (ESV) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

God saves people who are His enemies and turns them into children of God. What a wonderful transformation. The enemies of the cross follow, not Jesus, but the enemy, Satan.

Matthew 13:39a (ESV) and the enemy who sowed them is the devil.

So we have two armies in the world today. The army of Satan consisting of all unbelievers following the enemy, Satan. And the army of God, following the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we as believers, win the battle against the enemies of the cross? Not by hating, hurting or killing our enemies, but by loving our enemies.

How does that win the battle? As we love our enemies, the enemies of the cross, they will be saved and become part of the family of God. We are destined to turn enemies into brothers and sisters in the family of God. So, today, you’re going to learn more from Jesus about loving your enemies. Easy to say, hard to put into practice. Why? Because the natural, ungodly response is to hate our enemies. We must learn to love our enemies as God loved us when we were His enemies.

Do good to haters

Luke 6:27 (ESV) “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

In the previous verses, which we talked about last Sunday, we learned that when you are a follower of Jesus, you will be hated. You will have enemies. In fact, Jesus said of everyone speaks well of you, you are cursed, you are not really a believer. So, now Jesus tells His followers what to do with their enemies. Not only are we to rejoice when persecuted, we are to love our enemies.

The Greek word for love in this verse is agape, which means the unconditional love that God has. This love is not a feeling of affection, it is an active love that does good for those who are haters. Doing good for those who hate you will be explained and in more detail in the next verses.

Luke 6:28-29 (ESV) bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.

So, to love our enemies is to return good for evil. If someone curses you, we are tempted to give them a piece of our mind. Rather, we are to bless them. If someone abuses you in some way, we are to pray for them.

In Jesus day, striking on the cheek for a form of insult. Rather than insult them back, we are not to retaliate. If someone is in need and takes something of yours, you are to be generous in return.

Luke 6:30-31 (ESV) Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Those who beg, we are to give to. And those who take from us, we are to demand they return. Jesus finishes with what is called the golden rule, as what loving our enemies is all about. However, you would like to be treated, treat others the same say.

Our natural inclination is to treat others as they treat us, but that is not loving. We mustn’t treat our enemies in the same way they treat us. We are to return hate with love.

As I was thinking about these verses, I was wondering why more of us are not facing persecution for our faith. How often are we cursed, abused, insulted and hated for being a follower of Jesus? Not very often. Last Sunday, Jesus told us that we are blessed when people hate us. Do we really believe that?

If we want to see revival in our time, if we want to see people saved and healed, we’ve got to follow the example of Jesus and His disciples. We must decide to be bold witnesses that Jesus is the only way for people to be saved. When we start telling people that they need to repent or they will surely go to hell, we’re going to see some hate. But, just as the Bible shows, along with the hate of some, we’re going to see more people saved and healed.

Woe to us according to Jesus if we desire for everyone to speak well of us. But when some hate us, we rejoice and we do good to them in return. Do good to haters and God will bring many more into His family.

Follow the Father’s example

Luke 6:32 (ESV) “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

Next Jesus is going to help deal with our natural inclinations, which are not godly. We have a strong tendency to love those who we think love us. That is conditional love. Of course the converse also comes naturally, to hate those who hate you. Both of these kinds of conditional love is who sinners or unbelievers do.

Luke 6:33-34 (ESV) And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.

We are to be drastically different from the sinners that are all around us. We are to do the exact opposite of how unbelievers treat each other. When you act in a way that is different than the world and even of many who claim to be Christians, it will make you stand out. Not only are we to not act like sinners, Jesus repeats His instruction to us.

Luke 6:35-36 (ESV) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

We are to love our enemies by being givers, doing what is good and right for them, even though they don’t deserve it. Whenever we obey God’s reward, there will be reward, both in this life and the next. Catch the last phrases here. When you love your enemies, you will be acting as sons of God the Father.

What is God like? He is kind to the ungrateful and even the evil. He is merciful to all. We don’t take our cue on how to live from the people around us, we are to follow our Father’s example.

To follow our Father’s example, it’s important to remember that each one of us was once an enemy of God. Whether we were young or older when we were saved, it was God’s kindness that drew us to Himself. As enemies of God, we deserved to spend this life and eternity without Him. But God loved us, His enemies, so much that He sent Jesus to draw us to Himself through His Spirit.

We are not believers today because we were such good people, but because of God’s mercy. So, to follow Father’s example, we must ask His help to share His truth to our enemies with love. We mustn’t be deceived about the unbelievers around us. They are captives of Satan and unwittingly serve in His army. Yet, as we seek the direction of the Holy Spirit to give us opportunities to share His love, He will open the doors. We will see more and more people saved, healed and delivered as we follow the Father’s example.

You will reap what you sow

Luke 6:37 (ESV) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

These final verses in Jesus’ teaching today are an amplification of the Golden Rule we’ve already talked about. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Jesus gives us a couple of examples here of following our Father’s example. We are not to judge or condemn others. To judge and condemn our enemies is to view their state as hopeless and not show love to them.

The way that these examples are stated, it is clear that if we judge or condemn others, we will be judged and condemned. Why? Because we are not acting as Christ followers, but like the sinners of the world. Rather we are to forgive those who do evil and hateful things against us. As we forgive others, the Lord will forgive us.

Jesus Himself taught that if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. So we see that spiritual law of reaping and sowing illustrated. If we sow negative things such as judgement, we will reap judgement. But if we sow godly forgiveness, we will reap forgiveness.

Luke 6:38 (ESV) give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Finally, Jesus talks about what is the result of giving, either to others or to God. In both cases, whatever we give, God will give back to us and resupply our need. The more that we give, the more that we will receive. We unfortunately often try to turn these principles around. We think, if God gives me more, than I will give to Him. If another person gives to me, then I will give back to them. God calls on us to take the first step in faith. Give to God, give to others and believe God’s promise that He will give back to you. You will reap what you sow.

In Galatians 6:7 it says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will He also reap. The reason we are warned not to be deceived is that so many are deceived. We are deceived in thinking that we can sow something wrong and receive something good. Never works that way. When someone does wrong to us, we are tempted to pay them back and seek revenge. Then we’re not going to reap blessing.

But when we love our enemies and are kind to those who treat us wrongly, we will reap blessing from the Lord. Oftentimes, our love and kindness will be used by God to bring people into His kingdom. We look for our reward, our reaping from the Lord. He will reward us both in this life and in eternity. You will reap what you sow.

We are show love to everyone. It’s easy to show love to those who love us. The hard part is to love our enemies, those who are not believers. And sometimes sadly, those who are believers but are not living godly lives. The key is to do good to whomever seems to be at odds with us.

Follow the Father’s example of kindness even when you are mistreated. Believe that promise that you will reap what you sow as you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As we learn to love our enemies, our enemies will become our friends and our brothers and sisters in God’s family.