Matthew 5:38-48 (click for full reading)
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
A NEW LAW
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
We like things to be fair. Don’t we? We give trophies for participation. We give gifts of equal value. Because we want things to be fair. So the eye for an eye law that Jesus speaks of today makes sense to us. For that matter, So does the phrase “love your friends and hate your enemies.”
It’s easy to love those who love us, and dislike those who dislike us. It makes sense to us. And to those hearing Jesus during his sermon on the mount, this eye for an eye law made sense too. It was the way things were done. But Jesus is doing a radical thing here, and the people listening on that mountain know it. He is taking a familiar, well known law, and changing it. Jesus is challenging those listening to look at life, and to look at those in their lives, through a different lens. A Godly lens. Because God doesn’t see the same way we do.
We are called to LOVE, no matter what it looks like.
So, bottom line, this new law that Jesus is giving… It’s not fair. And what is least fair about this new law from Jesus is that he is calling us to love indiscriminately. We are to love everyone. Even those who don’t love us back! This new law is kind of mind-boggling, when you really think about it. It’s easy to love those who love us. Right? This is why Jesus says, hey- even the pagans can do that. Jesus is asking us to do something MORE. You can’t just be a good person. You have to follow a NEW law. You have to LOVE, and you have to love in ways that aren’t fair.
Because God isn’t fair.
God isn’t fair because we don’t deserve God’s love and God gives it to us anyway. The old law might make perfect sense,
But this new law? It’s more. The old law teaches us to do to others as they do to us. The new law Jesus is teaching us today is to do to others what God has done to us.
God isn’t fair. And for that, we thank God.
Questions to ponder or discuss
1. When in your life have you found yourself wanting to be fair?
2. What does it feel like when you get or receive something you DON’T deserve? (think of this in terms of getting something good you don’t deserve AND in terms of something bad you don’t deserve?)
3. What does it mean for your day to day life that God isn’t fair?
Take a few minutes and think about those people you find hardest to love. Whether it’s a “type” of person or an actual named person, what are some ways you can show them radical, new law love this week? (Write this down, and DO IT!)
Click on the link to see the VIDEO Natalia used in her sermon.