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Enemies:What did Jesus say about Enemies

Jesus’ teachings about enemies are primarily found in the Gospels, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, where He provides revolutionary guidance on how to treat those who oppose us. Here’s a concise answer followed by relevant Bible verses and three main takeaways:

What Jesus Said About Enemies:
Jesus taught to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and offer kindness in the face of hostility. This was a radical departure from the “eye for an eye” ethos of His time.

Relevant Bible Verses:

  1. Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV):
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
  2. Luke 6:27-36 (NIV):
    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Love Transcends Natural Responses: Jesus challenges us to transcend our natural inclinations of retribution and animosity towards those who wrong us. Instead, He calls for a love that reflects the nature of God Himself, who is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
  2. Prayer as a Tool for Transformation: Jesus instructs His followers to pray for their persecutors, highlighting prayer not only as a means of intercession but also as a tool for personal transformation. It changes our hearts towards our enemies and aligns us more closely with God’s will.
  3. Radical Generosity and Kindness: The teachings of Jesus emphasize actions that go beyond mere tolerance or passive acceptance. He encourages active generosity, kindness, and a posture of giving without expectation of return—even to those who oppose us. This approach is meant to challenge societal norms and reflect a heavenly standard of perfection.

These teachings about enemies are foundational to Christian ethics, emphasizing mercy, forgiveness, and love as central characteristics of the believer’s life.


  • Greg Gaines

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