Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 5:38-48
Jesus commands us to love our enemies. It is not just a kind suggestion. It is an order from our Lord! However, it is a knife that cuts our hearts and spear that runs through our stomach!
We do not want to love our enemies. We want revenge! Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth! We want justice!
So, we are in dilemma. When Jesus said, “forgive them all!” we were willing to do that. We understood that it was also good for our physical and spiritual health. We thought that it was hard enough. Then, Jesus says now that we have to love them! Is there any limit or boundary? That is exactly what it is. God’s love is limitless and boundless and unconditional. When such God’s love is for me and my sin, I am so grateful but when the same love is offered to my enemy, I am angry and mad, am I not?
God makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. Our Heavenly Father is perfect! So, does Jesus want us to be like God? Does he want us to imitate God’s nature? Yes, exactly that is what he is saying!
No, we cannot do that, we reply. No, we would not do that, we rebel against the order. However, against whose order are we protesting? It is God, our Creator, and Jesus, our Savior! So, we are in trouble.
Our conscience says that we should not disobey to our Lord. Our nature says that we are not able and willing to obey to that particular command. Here comes threat and fear: we may be punished by an angry God if we do not listen to Him!
But we know that our God is not an angry God. It is just our old habit dying hard. We are used to say “Trick or Treat?” to evil spirits and ghosts. We give out candies to soothe them (treat) or put out scary outlooks to ward off them (trick). The evil spirits will have bargain with us when they get what they want or run away if we have stronger spirits for our support. There, we celebrate Halloween, All hollows’ Evening, saying “Trick or Treat!”
However, Jesus says to us:
No trick, no treat! Only Truth will set us free.
The truth is that we (I and my enemy both) are all sinners. We need God’s grace. We have been forgiven from our sins. That is the foundation from where we see other sinners. Then we know that we have to forgive them all. We can and will love our enemies. Let us not deceive ourselves with any trick or treat, saying, I deserve Forgiveness and Grace but my enemy does not. The painful truth is that we are not better than our enemies. If we are thirst for forgiveness, they are, too. If we can admit that Truth, we can say that we have won the victory and we all will become saints Holy Won!
1. What are the tricks that we use to make ourselves to believe that we are better than our enemies or spouses or children or parents or friends?
2. What are the treats that we use to avoid punishments that we think of instead of repenting our sins?