44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Again, Jesus is telling us things that just don’t really make sense. Love your enemies? They are my enemies for a reason! They are my enemies because they have wronged me and nothing can be changed about that. Pray for those who persecute me? How?! If someone upsets me or makes fun of me, it just doesn’t feel right to pray for them. It is easier not pray for them and hope I never see them again.
There are so many powerful stories of those who love their enemies above and beyond. Ones that come to mind are mothers who pray for their child’s killer in a murder. People are often stunned by this displace of forgiveness and grace. Those who truly know whose they are, can stay strong in these moments of weakness. The courtroom is often teary-eyed and emotional when the parent begins to speak words of encouragement and wisdom to the killer.
Imagine if the parent screamed at the murderer and condemned them endlessly for doing this to their child. I wouldn’t blame them but, nothing would change.Showing grace and mercy in a time like this. Woah. I don’t know if I could do it honestly. It would be hard. To pray for someone who has wronged me or a loved one immensely has to be unfathomable. Yet, this is what Jesus calls us to do.
The most beautiful picture of symbolize I can imagine for this verse is Jesus on the cross. I believe Jesus was praying for those who were persecuting Him. He was loving the people who put Him on the cross. He was thinking about you. He was thinking, despite all the sins you will commit, He would still die for you. Even if you never believed in Him. He would still pursue you and love you. Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
How can I begin to display this verse in my own life?
Who can I begin to pray for today?
Dear Lord, thank you for first loving your enemies, and praying for those who persecute you. We are reminded that we are the ones that put you on the cross and yet you still died for us with love. Keep this truth on our hearts today. Amen.
Have a great week!