But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust – Matthew 5:44, 46
Whom would you consider to be your enemy? Someone you don’t get along with? Someone you just can’t stand? Someone who has it in for you? Someone who doesn’t like you and is always undermining you? How could we possibly love these people? This commandment of Jesus to love our enemies seems impossible but as He pointed out, if we love only those who love us in return, what good is that? He was teaching us that hate is not of God. Love is of God, even love for our enemies.
We are told that, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20, 21). Jesus showed love toward Malchus, the High Priest’s servant after Peter cut off his right ear. Matthew gives an account of the incident.
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” – Matthew 26:50-54. Luke wrote that Jesus said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him (Luke 22:51).
Jesus rebuked Peter and healed Malchus. I’m sure this act of kindness must have affected the servant in some way.
King David had an opportunity to kill his enemy Saul twice. The first time was when they were in the wilderness in En Gedi. Saul heard that David and his men were there and set off at once, taking three thousand men with him. He meant to get David. David’s men said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’” David listened to his men and went to Saul who was in the cave.
David secretly cut off a piece from the corner of the king’s robe but afterward he felt badly about what he had done. His heart troubled him and he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way (1 Samuel 24:1-7). The other time David spared Saul’s life is recorded in 1 Samuel 26.
Love for God made David do the right thing. He loved Saul too and mourned when he died (2 Samuel 1:17). He even commanded that the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan be buried in the tomb of Kish his father (2 Samuel 21:14).
By loving those we would consider to be our enemies, we will be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Love and kindess should extend to everyone. Loving God makes God us want to do right by others. Show God how much you love Him with an act of kindness or making amends wit the person or persons you had a falling out with.