February 25, 2012

Matthew 5:43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 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. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NIV)

Talk about a tough teaching. Not only are we told to love our enemies but pray for them as well? Then Jesus goes on to say that loving the people that are easy to love (or just like us) is not something we should pat ourselves on the back for. Instead he is challenging us to love the ones we might find most unlovable. Then he caps it all off with the one line zinger about "being perfect." I can't help but think about Wesley's idea of "going on to perfection." What does that look like to you?

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage?