Jesus & Enemies


More from Controversial Jesus

Teaching Notes

Beautiful people & beautiful communities don’t just happen.

No one drifts into a better version of themselves.

culture of contempt”— the habit of seeing people who disagree with us not as merely incorrect but as worthless and defective.

- Arthur C. Brooks

Our confused society badly needs a community of contrast, a counterculture of ordinary pilgrims who insist on living a different way.

- Philip Yancey

What does it mean to love our enemies?

How do we even begin to put this love into practice?

Why in the world should we love our enemies?


43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  44  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  45  that you may be children 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.  46  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  47  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  48  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

- The sin of _______________ & the spirit of _______________.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Enemy – the inner disposition from which hostility rises anyone with whom we have very difficult relations – personally, politically, socially, or theologically.

"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard"

- Quaker Saying

“The problem with hatred is that it almost always sees others as the chief problem: a warped self-righteousness infects all crusades.”

- Fredrick Dale Brunner, Theologian

The Spirit of Criticism:

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

2 Corinthians 12:20

- _______________
- _______________
- _______________
- _______________

- Enemy love is a _______________ practice.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

You plural – you folks, you all, y’all

Love [Agape] – the unconditional, sacrificial love; a love marked by giving, not getting.

“The unconditional love of Jesus in us that is flowing through us to be a force of transformation around us.”

- Efrim Smith

"The supreme religious challenge is to see God’s image in one who is not in our image.”

- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Loving Your Enemies:
- Pray for them.
- Forgive them.
- Make CROSS-SHAPED Decisions

“The Gospel gives us the resources to love people who reject both our beliefs and us personally. Christians should think of how God rescued them. He did it not by taking power but by coming to earth, losing glory and power, serving and dying on a cross. How did Jesus save? Not with a sword but with nails in his hands.”

- Tim Keller

What is more important to us—that we successfully put others in their place or that we are known to love well?

- Perfectly _______________ people _______________ their Heavenly Father.

“…that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Perfect [Teleios]: realizing the purpose for which something or someone was designed; used to describe persons come of age, the mature person as distinguished from the child.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1

At the cross the Judge of the world became the Judged One for the world in substitutionary atonement.

- Karl Barth

“God, help me to see others not as my enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.”

- Henri Nouwen

Befriend by Scot Sauls
A Fellowship of Differents by Scot McKnight
Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancy – John Ortberg