Do you have the right to hate?

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
(Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV))

Did Jesus have the right to hate His enemies?

Let’s face the facts. Judas betrayed Him. The crowds turned against Him. The Roman soldiers beat Him and crucified Him. They nailed Him to a cross. They pierced His side. By all human standards, He had every right to hate His enemies.

What did Jesus do?

He went against every human reaction that you or I would have ever had.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:34a (NIV))

Even after suffering all the humiliation of the cross, He still loved those who had nailed Him to that cross. Grace is an amazing thing, for it flies in the face of all conventional wisdom and does exactly opposite of what is expected. Jesus could have hated those who did this. He could have spoken a single word and their very existence would have ceased. Instead, He allowed everything to happen so that everyone could experience grace. Even though people meant to do Him harm, He did not stop loving them. He knew that what He faced would mean the difference for millions of people throughout history. He loved those who hated Him.

The next time that someone tries to harm you, remember grace and ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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