Jesus Said What?! Surely He Was Mistaken.
I am sure that we are all familiar with this guy, Kim Jung II. You know, he’s the “Supreme Leader” of North Korea. I am also pretty sure that when his face flashes across our television screens during the news report, we get a bit fired up. We probably get a bit perturbed and might even start having an argument with the television about what an awful guy he is.
There is no denying that he has done some pretty awful things, and that his way of leading is in no way the best way to lead. But what do we do with him? I mean, he IS still a person created and formed by God. Isn’t he? He is still someone who God loves beyond measure. Isn’t he? He is still someone who we should extend grace to. Isn’t he? Wait…..I’m not so sure about that. I mean, look at all that he has done. He doesn’t extend grace and mercy, so why should anyone extend grace and mercy to him? I mean, surely Jesus would understand if he withhold grace from him of all people. Wouldn’t He?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said what? Surely He didn’t mean to say that I am to “love [my] enemies” and “pray for those who persecute [me],” did He? I mean won’t that make me a doormat and weak? Maybe that was just a misprint in my Bible.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14
Oh, well I guess if it shows up more than once in my Bible then maybe Jesus really did mean what He said. You know it’s a whole lot easier to love those people who give love back to us, and to pray for those who are lifting us up in prayer. But to love your enemies and pray for those who do wrong toward you is hard. It’s a struggle, really. But nowhere is it promised that we would get the easy road. Nope. Living the opposite way of the world is a battle. It is a struggle, and it is hard. It is hard to show grace to someone like Kim Jung II, who has not shown grace toward other people. It is hard to look at his face and think of him as someone loved by God. It is hard to think about even considering that God wants us to show him grace. But just because it is hard doesn’t mean that we are not still called to do it.
How many people might think the same of us? How many people in our own lives have we mistreated, and left them wondering if they should show us grace? Think about. Grace is for all people, even those we find difficult to extend grace to.
Grace and Peace
This post is part of POTSC Never Beyond series. Check out POTSC at www.potsc.com