If You Want to Mess Someone Up...

A Look at the Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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“Ye have heard…” here we go again. I hear often, “Doesn’t the Bible say…” Someone somewhere halfway listened or heard someone take a passage out of context and now they are confused. Jesus reminds his audience that it is dangerous to live by what you have heard, it is better to live by what you know, in our case, what you read for yourself.
The passage in question was quoted by the religious leaders as found in Matthew 5:43
Matthew 5:43 KJV 1900
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
To get the context we need to go to the source of the quote, Leviticus 19:18
Leviticus 19:18 KJV 1900
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
I find it interesting that in this passage we read nothing of hating our enemies. Let’s go step further, in the entire OT we read nowhere that we are to hate our enemies. Why then was this taught? It was taught to affirm the prejudice of their day. They were, according to this teaching, to love their fellow Jews, but they were to hate the Romans, and let’s not forge those despised Samaritans. While we’re at it, let’s apply the hatred of our enemies to anyone, and everyone, who is not a Jew.
Jesus says, “Wrong!” He came to set the record straight, or rather, to straighten out the false teaching of His day, and ours too.
Our culture is very similar in this respect, we are conditioned to giving back what we get. Jesus says, we are to give back better than what we get! What great advice this is.
I read this passage and I thought, what a great way to mess with someone’s head. This morning I mentioned that there difficult people we come into contact with, people who just want to get under our skin, but instead of pushing back, Jesus says we should do the exact opposite. My friend, if you will do this they will never see it coming!
Jesus says we should...

Love our Enemies

“Love your neighbor, but had your enemy”. That is what the Religious leaders taught.
“Love your enemies”, that is what Jesus taught.
An enemy is one who is outwardly opposed to you, one who is actively engaged in resisting you. One who does everything in their power to show you how much hate they have in their heart for you. This is the one we are to love!
Look at Matthew 5:46
Matthew 5:46 KJV 1900
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
It is easy to love those that love you. Even the traitorous publicans had a few friends. But it takes an act of God to show true love to the one who hates you. **Yesterday at Love Life - the escorts, they show outward hatred toward us, but we prayed for them, because we love them.**
The word love here is pretty specific. It is the word “Agapeo” meaning to love as God loves, unconditionally. This type of love is not a feeling, it is a choice. When you love someone you are choosing to love them. This is a purposeful love. One that takes practice, trust me, it doesn’t come naturally, but it does come supernaturally. Next Jesus says we are to...

Bless those that Curse us

We all have had people slander our names. Someone say something about us in an attempt to paint us in a bad light. They have spoken evil of us in an attempt to ruing our reputation, to keep us from a promotion, to cost us our job, or simply annoy us. My friends, this is exactly what it means to be cursed.
How are we to respond to this? Bless them. Get this the word means to speak well of. Imagine the confusion of the crowd that slanders you, when you have the opportunity to “give them a taste of their own medicine”, and instead you refuse to speak evil of them.
I’m reminded of David when he was being pursued by Saul. There was a time when Saul entered a cave to take a break from the heat of the day. He did not know that David and his entire army were hiding out in this cave. While Saul was distracted David’s men urged him to take advantage of the situation, to sneak up in the darkness and kill him. David refused to kill the king, even though he knew given the same chance, Saul would have not hesitated to kill him.
Saul’s response? He admitted that David was a greater man than he. Bless those that curse you Jesus says. Also...

Do Good to those who Hate us

To hate is to “detest”. I don’t know about you, but for me it is easier to be kind and loving to those who are kind and loving to me. Yet Jesus says we are to do good to those who hate us, those who would gladly rip us off.
The phrase, “do good” means simply to be honest, fair. Look again at Matthew 5:46-47 “46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?”
Even the publicans, men known for being extortioners would not cheat their friends. Jesus says the real test of your love for Him is your ability to show love and to be fair even to people who do not love you back.
Lastly, Jesus says we should...

Pray for those who would despitefully use you and persecute you

To “despitefully use” someone refers to the act of slandering or openly insulting someone, again the intent here is to call into question someone’s character.
Here is a great question for us:


For this we look in Matthew 5:45
Matthew 5:45 KJV 1900
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
God is long suffering. God is patient. God is right now giving men time to repent and call on His Son for forgiveness.
Maybe you’re asking, what does Jesus know about being mistreated?
Ask yourself the following questions:
Did Jesus love His enemies? Yes! He died on the cross for them
Did Jesus bless those that cursed Him? Yes, enough to offer salvation to anyone who would call on Him
Did He do good to them that hated Him? Yes, He paid for their sins.
Did He pray for those who despitefullly used Him? Yes! “Father forgive them.”
Let me add another thought to Matt. 5:45
Matthew 5:45 KJV 1900
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
God sent His Son to die for them too!
Conclusion: This week, when you’re facing diffiuclt situations and difficult people, remember to resist the urge to repay in kind. Instead of giving what you get, give rather what you have been given: Forgiveness. Give kindness and love in place of crassness and hatred. Remember the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23
Galatians 5:22–23 KJV 1900
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Let us strive to be fruitful Christians today.
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