A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Love for enemies


The Sermon on the Mount by Carl BlochJesus teaches the people. After he has given them the Beatitudes, he lays out a surprising code of conduct for his followers:

  • They are to love their enemies and do good to those who hate them
  • When cursed by others they are to bless them, praying that good things will happen to those who harm them
  • If someone is hit on one cheek, s/he is to turn the other one towards the aggressor too
  • If a person steals something the believer really needs, s/he should let that person take something else as well
  • They are to be generous to anyone who asks and not demand it back later
  • They need to treat other people as they would like to be treated.    

Rather than just be nice to those who are nice to them (which anybody is capable of), Jesus’ followers are to love their enemies, do good to them and lend to them – without expecting anything in return.

Jesus promises that those who live this way will be greatly rewarded and will be embraced as God’s children, for he is kind to even ungrateful and wicked people. If people are full of mercy towards others, treating them with love and not as they might deserve, they will reflect the merciful love of God.

The story illustrates:

  • The counter-cultural teaching of Jesus
  • The belief that others should be treated with love and consideration, whatever they are like
  • The importance of forgiveness
  • The belief that everyone is equally important.

Related Topics

Big Ideas: Path, way

Bible References

Luke 6:27-36
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