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Considering God’s love

November 24, 2010 No Comment

by Peggy Pedersen

Julio Diaz

Recently in New York City a man, Julio Diaz, was mugged at knifepoint. After giving the mugger his wallet, he said: “If you’re going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.” He then treated the teenaged mugger to dinner. At the end, the mugger gave back the wallet and surrendered his knife.

“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 abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.” Luke 6: 27-29

When we read these words in Luke’s gospel, we see them as instructions on how Christians should conduct themselves in the world (which they are!) It is behaviour the world would call naive and foolish. But they also describe how God has treated us: “for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35). He has not only loved those who loved Him, but He has fed, clothed, healed, and bestowed blessings on those who did not believe in Him, and even hated Him. As Jesus says, He sends rain on the just and the unjust. God gives without expecting return, knowing that, in most cases, there will be no reciprocation; and indeed, thanks, if any, probably will be misdirected to the wrong source—either to one’s own hard work, luck or even to a false god. 

“Give to everyone who begs from you….” (Luke 6:30). God answers the prayers of billions. When Jesus came, He came loving His enemies and praying for them. He gave His back to those who struck it, His cheeks to those who plucked out His beard and spit upon Him, (Isaiah 50:6) and yet did not complain. Instead, He gave His life for the forgiveness of those who crucified Him.

As the saying goes: like Father, like Son. To us, His children in Christ He says: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). 

Consider how much God loved us when we were estranged from Him, robbing Him of the obedience, love, trust and honour due Him. He sought not to punish us, but to forgive us and give us His own cloak of righteousness and to feed us with His own body and blood.

Oh, that we might be as our Father in showing mercy and love! May His image be formed in us by the grace of His indwelling Holy Spirit, so that the world can see Him reflected in us and know His unmerited and incomprehensible love.

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