What does that mean - "Love your Enemies"?

People shooting each other and a crying child

We can love our neighbor, our family and friends. But what does it mean to love our enemy? Do we really need to?

( 5:44 )

It already does not sound so easy to do so in theory, and on practice seems quite impossible. And is it really necessary?…

Let’s see how Jesus explains that.

( 5:44-48 )

Indeed, if we look around, we see that everybody receives sunshine and rain, fresh air to breathe. We and our enemies got placed in this wonderful world with breathtaking landscapes and majestic animals…

If we look deeper, we see that our enemies had mother and father like we did, wether they knew them or not. And, probably, their parents loved them as much as our parents loved us.

Here is a quote from a book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle where a sister mourned for her killed brother, who happened to be one of the most dangerous criminals in the country...

"To all the world he was the man of violence, half animal and half demon; but to her he always remained the little willful boy of her own girlhood, the child who had clung to her hand."

Can our enemy be someone we actually love?

Imagine how our heavenly father breathed new life into whom we now call our enemy, cared for him when he was carried in his mother womb, then getting him birth, providing cloth, food to eat and water to drink all these years… And now he’s looking forward to get back his lost child, to get him smile again and call back his heavenly father: "Dad!...". God loves him as much as he loves us.

Let’s remember how David spared the life of his enemy Saul, who kept chasing and trying to kill David.

( 24:3-6 )

Here’s David words to Saul on that:

( 24:12-13 )

Another example of how to love our enemies is Jesus himself. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said about those who were abusing and crucifying him.

( 23:34 )

And these are Stephan’s words when he was dying after being stoned.

( 7:54-60 )

When reading a story like this, we would not associate ourselves with the Jewish leaders. But what if it’s actually us who is killing an innocent God’s messenger who is exposing and accusing us?… We are not sinless, and the voice raised against us hadn’t come up without a reason.

What did you feel towards Jewish leaders when reading like they were stoning Stephen? Did you feel anger, rage?… What about feeling grace towards them, as they were trying to be right and stick to the law, and hated being exposed on the things that did not got right. In many ways we are like them, and they are like us. Let’s love them despite their wrongdoing. And try to love our enemies, just like God loves them.

( 13:4-7 )