But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.

Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Luke 6:27–33 NASB Read More

This is it.

Today’s the day.

These 6 verses are some of the hardest things that Jesus has to teach. They are some of the hardest things for us to hear.

They are also an excellent show of religion.

If we live a religion that is a list of rules and requirements and practices, eventually we get to pick and choose from that list. We get to prioritize adultery as worse than greed or lying as more permissible than stealing. Religion of rules empowers us to like a musician until they make a political statement we don’t like, and then we can boycott and regard them as ‘fallen away.’

It’s a mess isn’t it?

Our changing rules are a great indicator to figure out when we are following our own christened legalism or if we are following Jesus.

When we look at Jesus and love His wisdom and power, we are compelled to follow Him. The more we know Him and count on Him, the more we want to hear what He has to teach us. That’s exactly what was going on in Galilee. Jesus would heal and teach and more and more people would follow Him because He was so awesome.

So when you get to a hard teaching like this, don’t respond with “Well then what, everything I have will be stolen and I just let people beat me up? What about my rights?”

Instead, consider the source. It’s Jesus. It’s the Lord of All speaking. If you love Jesus more than life itself — whatever life you have — this doesn’t become such a hard teaching.

If I trust Jesus more than my self-defense training, if I love Jesus more than my extra coat, and if I see that He is the source of my life and not my over-exaggerated will for justice, I can do whatever He wants. This is how Paul could say “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” This is how all of the heroes of the faith and great missionaries of history could make the sacrifices they made. They loved Jesus more than life itself, and became the kind of people that would simply

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

Don’t try to figure out how you can easily fit this teaching into your religion. You can’t.

Follow Jesus.

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