Luke 6:27-36. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
The command of Christ to love our enemies is so important that we want to look at again today. But whereas we looked at the command itself yesterday, today let’s look at the power to fulfill the command – the power of sonship.
Think again about what Jesus is actually asking us to do here. He’s not commanding us to avoid trouble, or stay neutral, or even to just not retaliate. He’s asking us to actively do good to our enemy. To preemptively do for others what you would want done to you. To be kind to the ungrateful and evil. He’s asking for genuine agape love. The same love that drove Jesus to the cross for his enemies – you and me.
Surely this is impossible. I can’t even love my friends and family well. Most days I’m happy to just avoid conflicts with the co-workers I don’t like. It’s a good day if I don’t lose my cool on social media.
But in Jesus’ mind this kind of love, this mercy, this perfection is not impossible. It’s sonship – you will be sons of the Most High.
And if you are in Christ you have his sonship. Sons of the Most High is not an earned or achieved status that comes when we figure out how to love our enemies. No. Sonship is the gracious gift of the new birth that comes by faith in Jesus Christ and his own perfect sonship.
John 1:12. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
But how does my sonship actually allow me to love my enemies?
Because you are a son of the Most High by grace alone, you know that your enemy also needs this same grace. And you believe that they too can be saved by God’s mercy, just as you were.
Because you are a son of the Most High, you know you will inherit the universe. Your enemy can’t actually take anything from you. Anything good that you lose or miss out on by loving your enemy will be restored by your Dad.
Because you are a son of the Most High, you are continually in the presence of the Father at all times. Your enemy can never prevent you from experiencing the Father’s joy and peace.
Because you are a son of the Most High, you know that you are always deeply loved and respected. In Christ, your heart has all that it longs for: love, acceptance, respect, honor, comfort, peace. No enemy can take these spiritual blessings from you, for they are poured into your heart.
Because you are a son of the Most High, you have a purpose beyond the things of this life that no an enemy can take away. An enemy might thwart your career, your family, your reputation, your status, but they cannot thwart your mission. Because your enemy IS your mission.
Because you are a son of the Most High, you can trust God with every part of your life, even the things that an enemy might try to destroy. God is using all things to conform you into the image of Christ the Son. Even persecution. Especially persecution.
Because we are sons of the Most High, we have been loved genuinely.
Because we are sons of the Most High, we can love genuinely. And the most genuine love in the world is to love an enemy.
“To live is Christ” gives you everything your heart needs to love. Even those who will never love you back. Even those who persecute you. Even an enemy.
Is there an enemy in your life that you need to love today?
You in Christ
How can meditating on your sonship fill you with love today?
Christ in you
What is one specific way you can express Christ in you and reach out to an enemy today?
Playlist: Songs of sonship.