Love for Enemies – Luke 6:27-36
The law says love your neighbour. Why does Jesus change this to love your enemy?
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
29 “To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
30 “Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.
31 “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33 “And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34 “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.
35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36 “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Food for Thought
1. Why do people often call revenge “sweet?”
2. Who have been some of your enemies through the years?
3. Have you ever shown love to an enemy?
4. How many positive responses to maltreatment does Jesus command? (6:27-31)
5. What different kinds of maltreatments did Jesus refer to in his command? (6:28-30)
6. Which statement best summarises what Jesus says about responding to enemies? (6:31)
7. How does Jesus explain the difference between his followers and those he calls “sinners?” (6:32-34)
8. About what three positive actions did Jesus ask, “What credit is that to you?” (6:32-34)
9. What is Jesus’ basic argument in backing up his command to love others unconditionally? (6:32-35)
10. What results will those who practice loving their enemies obtain? (6:35)
11. What title does Jesus give to those who love their enemies? (6:35)
12. Who are we imitating when we love our enemies? (6:36)
13. The law says love your neighbour. (Lev 19:18) Why does Jesus change this to love your enemy?
14. According to this passage, what are the observable differences between “sinners” and “believers?”
15. Since turning the other cheek literally could reinforce someone’s bad behaviour, what is Jesus’ point here?
16. What does it mean to bless those who curse you?
17. Should you give to everyone who asks of you?
18. What do you think would happen if you give to everyone who asks of you?
19. Why is Jesus so critical of conditional love?
20. Why is treating others as you wish to be treated so important?
21. Which of Jesus’ commands do you think goes most against “human nature?”
22. What does it take for a person to live the way Jesus describes here?
23. When is it most difficult to forgive?
24. How does Jesus say his followers are to be distinctly different from the ordinary pattern?
25. What is realistic or unrealistic about the kind of love Jesus wants us to show?
26. To what enemy in your life can you show a gesture of love?
27. How can you remember to do good to someone who is unkind to you this week?