Monday, June 18, 2012
Matthew 5:43-48 Love of neighbour extended to one's enemy
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."
In this passage, we see Jesus expanding the notion of neighbour. Instead of neighbour, being a member of the clan or community, it is expanded to all people including one's enemies. How easy it is to be nice to one's friend but to have a moral obligation to serve one's enemy is radical. In other words, our love should have no limits.