The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




That Love Hate Thing

"You have heard it said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy...." (Matt.5:43).

So that we get this clear, there is no commandment of hate your enemy in the Old Testament. But hatred for one's enemies was an accepted part of the Jewish ethic at that time in some circles. Here is what the OT law actually said: "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Keep my decrees" (Lev.19:18-19). A lawyer had come up to Jesus in Lk.10:25 to test him by asking, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" It was in actuality Jesus who wound up testing him, which happened most of the time anyway. The lawyer knew the greatest commandments about loving the Lord and his neighbors. Were the lawyer to obey these commandments, Jesus declared that he would be on the path to eternal life. The Lord dared to offer an authoritative and practical answer for what had been an academic discussion among the learned Jews. Realizing that he had been stymied, and that Jesus came off looking like the Master Teacher that he was, the next question seemed like a natural one.... "And who is my neighbor?" (V 29) Maybe a more succinct way of asking this might be, just who qualifies as a neighbor? Was it a fellow Jew? Was it a Gentile? Was it a Samaritan? The question echoes down the corridors of time to us today. Deciding whom to love and whom to hate obsessed those who wanted to "fine-tune" the law back then just as it does people today. Jesus told one of his most famous parables, The Good Samaritan next... The hate thing is not a part of the Christian ethic, but loving our neighbors is, so lets look at the parable next week...

Have a great day... Make a difference... Love mark Phil.4:11

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