St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Saturday, February 23, 2019

Synopsis for Luke 6:27-38 (Live Love’s Power)

Key Verse: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

Jesus’ call to love our enemies – and the dreaded, seemingly impossible command to “turn the other cheek” help us understand why so many rejected him. We’d like to pick and choose his teachings and commands to suit not only our comfort, but also our understanding. Loving enemies does not make any sense in our world. It’s the kind of thing that costs a great deal – in terms of pride and self-preservation. Yet Jesus sums up this hard teaching by connecting the mercy, judgement, and forgiveness we give to the mercy, judgement, and forgiveness we receive. Seen in this light, love for our enemies makes a different kind of sense. But it’s more than self-preservation – quid pro quo (tit for tat) love is not really love, because it’s conditional. The love for enemies Jesus demonstrates with his life breaks us all free from the prison and blindness of our hatred for each other. Powerful indeed.