Our sermon title this morning.
Luke 6:27-36 "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 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. 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.
"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 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. 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.
The first thing - the first line - "to you who hear." Are we paying attention? Are we paying attention?
The Greek word for love here is "agapao" - charity. Not phileos, brotherly love.
Christ's command was to love those who hate you, abuse you, curse you. This is a love that we are to give to those who don't desire it. It removes the possibility of retaliation and it treats others the way you want to be treated.
Our behavior flows from our hearts - is it agapao that flows? phileos? or something else?
"turn the other cheek" means so much more than simply putting up with mistreatment. Agapao turns the tables, responding with charity.
A radical love that declares that we are children of the Most High, merciful and kind.
With the help of the Holy Spirit we CAN love anybody