Can you guide me to anything that speaks on Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6 about loving and praying for our enemies?
I thank you for your post and am glad that the stammering words of this sinner in need of mercy can be edifying to you by the Spirit of hope.
Many people have sighted the afore mentioned verses to exhort one another into an unattainable situation of improper affection towards the world. Jesus spoke to a multitude of zionistic people who believed themselves to be the chosen nation of God. They expected the Messiah to vanquish the Romans and anyone else who opposed the Jewish people and to establish his earthly kingdom. This would once again, as in the days of Solomon, vault the nation of Israel into world prominence where they could place their proverbial foot upon the neck of their enemies. The most hated of these supposed enemies were the half breed Samaritans. The northern ten tribes had intermarried with the Assyrians when Hoshea, the king of Assyria, took Samaria (II Kings 17). The Arian ideologies of lineage and heritage is seen when the Pharisees stated in John 8, “We be Abraham's seed” and the idea of the imminent return of he kingdom was even in the minds of the disciples when they asked “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). This racial arrogance and animosity when the disciple wondered why Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and the lawyer, desiring to justify himself asked, “who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:33). So when Jesus spoke to the multitude in Matt. 5 He addressed this bigotry by saying “You have heard it has been said, You should love your neighbour and hate your enemy”. This is a rendition from Deut.23:6, “You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days for ever" This was not an wholesale reference to every person in the human race but rather God was speaking of certain people (Amorites, Hittite, Edomites) whom He had cursed. These stood in type as the people of the land which war against the children of grace in other words, the flesh. This wars against the law of the mind of the inner man and lusts against the Spirit. Thusly Jesus speaks to His children and instructs them that if they were of the world (Adam) the flesh would love his own but because you are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:19). John follows this testimony by saying “Do not love the world (Adam and all that is of the dust of the ground) neither the things in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15).
The mystery of the gospel is that God has a people reserved unto Him in every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue. The arrogance of Adam thinks that he alone is correct in his views, his doctrine and his understanding. This is in deference to the beauty of the election of grace which is not of the respect of Adam/Esau who God has hated with an eternal hatred. This is the application of the passage in Deuteronomy for God has concluded all in unbelief and in sin for all have sinned and come short of His glory.
One who has been born from above has their affections drawn out to the things of above. They find the things of this world to be worthless and a vexation upon their soul as they groan within themselves waiting to be delivered from the body of this death. Jesus spoke directly to the pride of life which is the pride of the heart of Edom wherein he has been deceived. There is no justification for the hatred of a person or a race of people. How many 'believers' hated Saul of Tarsus before he walked the Damascus road? How many disciples loved Judas before he left to betray the Lord? How many would have the thief on the cross in their membership? This is because man looks upon the outward tangible appearance of the flesh and judges accordingly, therefore Jesus said, love your enemies.
Also, as Paul wrote to the Romans that ALL things work in complete harmony for good to them that love God to the called according to His purpose. If therefore He has thrown a young lad into the dungeons of Egypt, has He not also given him favour in the eyes of he keeper? Since He sent His servant Daniel condemned into the lions den, did He not also stay the lions mouths until more appropriate meat should be delivered? David said “In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid of what man can do unto me” (Ps. 56:11).
There should be no abject hatred toward any person by one who has been given the hope of glory nor should there be any arrogant animosity toward any group of people. There can be no congress with the godlessness and unrighteousness of man which is manifested throughout this present evil generation but these things, the actions and predilections of man, serve to remind the children of hope how wretched poor and blind they are in Adam. It is by the grace of God that the instinctive evil of Adam is restrained and limited by His will for He has said to the proud wave, “Thus far shall you come and no farther.”
I hope you are given to find truth even in the ramblings of this fool. I appreciate your questions and comments and I will endeavour to give such as I have been given. Please try all things according to the testimony of the Spirit and the immutability of His Word.
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
October 28, 2015