Loving Our Enemies Facts for 9-13 Year Olds

Categories: Sermon on the Mount

  • After being filled up by the beatitudes, the disciples are given “commands.”
  • Another command says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’”
  • There are passages in the Old Testament where, in fact, we are to care for our enemy, we are to be kind to our enemy, we are to do good for our enemy.
  • It really does not say anywhere in the Old Testament, “Hate your enemy.”
  • Moreover, the intention of God’s people is to promote wholehearted service to God; we are not to go out and destroy enemies.
  • Also, the love that is commanded is an unselfish concern that seeks the good of others.
  • How are we going to love our enemies, not just be civil towards them, but really love them?
  • Jesus tells us: “But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’”
  • The way these words are written means we are to keep on doing good, to keep on praying for them, etc.
  • As we pray, we allow the divine will to fill us up until we are able to feel God’s love for them.
  • We are not required to love their deeds if they are evil, but we must love the doer.
  • We are to do this so that we may “become children of our Father in heaven.”
  • Now we have already been identified as God’s children, so in fulfilling this command, we act like God’s children and love.
  • God’s maturity is so great that He “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
  • As His children, we are commanded to do the same and love everyone.
  • Jesus continues that it’s not hard to love those who love you. Even the tax collectors do that. (Tax collectors then are known for dishonesty.)
  • “And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?” Even the Gentiles do that.
  • As Christians, we are called to do more in response to God’s blessings.
  • Last, but not least, comes the command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
  • This is written in the future tense. This is a promise.
  • As we live the beatitudes and keep the commands, we will be perfect.
  • “Perfect” doesn’t mean faultless or superhuman.
  • In its simplest form, “perfect” means “nothing that is needed has been left out.”
  • The previous section has also just described the maturity of God.
  • God is perfect, complete, mature, having unconditional love for everyone.
  • The promise for us is to become like that, to love unconditionally, to become mature. It is a commitment to the protection of others.
  • “Perfect” also means “goodness, just as the heavenly Father is all good” (from the New English Bible).
  • When Luke writes down this same idea, he says, “Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”
  • Our perfection, our maturity enables us to wholeheartedly embrace others, as the Father does.
  • In its context, perfect here is a wide, embracing word that means more like being merciful and good.
  • The Sermon takes us back to the beatitudes to get filled up by God so we can love those who are unkind to us, those who may act like enemies.