Today we encounter one of the most difficult teachings of Jesus – to “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.” These words, central to all of Christian teaching and thought, have troubled our broken human nature since they were uttered. Jesus then goes on to give examples of exactly how just God is with His creatures and how equal His love for all of them is. The sun shines on the good and bad, and rains fall on the just and the unjust. Being good earns you no special favors, and equally important, doing evil does not cut you out of God’s gracious consideration.
Our human sensibilities bristle at this type of world order. We expect just punishment for crimes committed. We expect those who have done evil to have evil befall them and are quick to associate unfortunate circumstances with poor decisions. And, because our egos are so massive, we would like to see God follow in our footsteps. How naïve and illogical we are! The created do not lead the Creator. It is the Creator who shapes the creature and gives it space to move in.
Jesus is truly God and truly man. This means that while He is fully God, he also fully understands human nature. Understanding, however, doesn’t mean that Jesus made accommodations for it. Instead, as St. Anselm so captivatingly put it, “The Son of God became man so that we might become God.” Jesus takes our human nature and draws us up into the divine nature. We aren’t supposed to remain on our playing field. We are called to a wholly new game, one with divine rules.
One of the most fundamental rules is what Jesus teaches us today. That all people, no matter who they are, or aren’t, to us, are worthy of our love and prayers.
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.
Feature Image Credit: www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-of-men-playing-basketball-69773/