Love Your Enemy

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:43-44)

The first half of this is found in Moses’ law (Lev. 19:18). The second part was found in how the scribes and Pharisees explained and applied that OT command. Jesus’ application was exactly the opposite, resulting in a much higher standard: love for one’s neighbors should extend even to those neighbors who are enemies (Matt. 5:44). Again, this was no innovation, since even the OT taught that God’s people should do good to their enemies (Prov. 25:21).

John MacArthur Commentary

It’s no different in Jesus’ time and today. God wants His people to be different. He wants His people to be unique. And the standard that Jesus presents here regarding loving your enemies is not the mood of the mob. That kind of a statement to the average pagan today sounds like lunacy, doesn’t make any sense. It is not an earthly standard. It is not the morality of the age. It is unique. It is a far greater ethic. In fact, if you want to know the truth, it’s a far greater ethic than either you or I could ever keep on our own. It’s way beyond us to love our enemies.

Excerpt from John MacArthur message “Love Your Enemies”