Luke 6:27, 28 - Loving Your Enemies. (updated)
Luke 6:27, 28 (NIV) But I tell you who hear
me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate
you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those
who mistreat you.
Luke 6:27, 28 (NLT) But to you who are
willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good
to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse
you. Pray for those who hurt you.
Luke 6:27, 28 (EAV) But I say to you who are
listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a
practice to] love you r enemies, treat well (do good
to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and
pursue you with hatred, 28 Invoke blessings upon
and pray for the happiness of those who curse
you, implore Gods blessing (favor) upon those
who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage,
and high-handedly misuse you].
Luke 6:27, 28 (CWR) Let me tell you how to
experience real happiness. Love your enemies, do
something good for those who dont like you, 28 say
something good about those who curse you, and pray for
those who mistreat you and exploit you to further
their own interests.
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES,
DO GOOD to them which hate you,
BLESS them that curse you, and
PRAY for them which despitefully use you.
Luke 6:27, 28 (KJV)
Yes, God's people have their enemies, even
as Jesus did; and we must be Christlike in the
way we treat them. We must be giving and
forgiving; and we must pray for them, not that God
would destroy them but that He would change them.
The best way to conquer an enemy is to make him
a friend. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary
by Warren Wiersbe]
Agapan (love) describes an active feeling of
benevolence towards the other person; it means that no
matter what that person does to us we will never
allow ourselves to desire anything but his highest
good; and we will deliberately and of set purpose
go out of our way to be good and kind to him;
even if he insults, ill-treats and injures us, we
will seek nothing but his highest good. [Barclay
The Christian ethic is positive. It does not
consist in not doing things but in doing them. Jesus
gave us the Golden Rule which bids us do to
others as we would have them do to us. That rule
exists in many writers of many creeds in its
negative form. Hillel, one of the great Jewish
Rabbis, was asked by a man to teach him the whole
law while he stood on one leg. He answered,
"What is hateful to thee, do not to another. That
is the whole law and all else is explanation."
Philo, the great Jew of Alexandria, said, "What you
hate to suffer, do not do to anyone else."
Isocrates, the Greek orator, said. "What things make
you angry when you suffer them at the hands of
others, do not you do to other people." The Stoics
had as one of their basic rules, "What you do
not wish to be done to yourself, do not you do
to any other." When Confucius was asked, "Is
there one word which may serve as a rule of
practice for all one's life?" he answered, "Is not
Reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to
yourself, do not do to others." Every one of these
forms is negative. It is not unduly difficult to
keep yourself from such action; but it is a very
different thing to go out of your way to do to others
what you would want them to do to you. The very
essence of Christian conduct is that it consists,
not in refraining from bad things, but in
actively doing good things. [Barclay Commentary]
Sociologists call the pattern Jesus
criticized the norm of reciprocity. In any
culture, people will tend to keep the social books
balanced. If you invite the Joneses over for dinner,
theyll feel they owe you an invitation. If you loan
Mrs. Smith chocolate chips, shes likely to
bring you a few of the cookies she makes.
Jesus didnt criticize this norm. He
simply observed that even sinners live by it, so it
is nothing special when we show love to those
who love us. And He called us to live by the
standard set, not by others in our society, but by
God. Since God does good and loving things even
for those who hate Him, we who are Gods
children and citizens in His kingdom are to do
We are not to live by the norm of
reciprocity, but the norm of redemption. [The 365-Day
An eye for an eye. The law did establish
this standard as a principle for limiting
retribution to that which was just (Ex 21:24; Lv 24:20;
Dt 19:21). Its design was to insure that the
punishment in civil cases fit the crime. It was never
meant to sanction acts of personal retaliation. So
again (see notes on vv. 17, 18) Jesus made no
alteration to the true meaning of the law. He was
merely explaining and affirming the laws true
Do not resist an evil person. Like v. 38,
this deals only with matters of personal
retaliation, not criminal offenses or acts of military
aggression. Jesus applied this principle of
non-retaliation to affronts against ones dignity (v. 39),
lawsuits to gain ones personal assets (v. 40),
infringements on ones liberty (v. 41), and violations
of property rights (v. 42). He was calling for
a full surrender of all personal rights,
[MacArthur SB re Matthew 5:38, 39]
Eye for an eye. This law of
retaliation (Latin lex talionis) was Gods means of
maintaining justice and purging evil from among his
people (see Deut. 19:20"21). It was intended to
prevent inappropriate punishment (the punishment
should fit the crime) and was imposed by civil
authorities rather than individuals.
Do not resist the one who is evil. Jesus
is not prohibiting the use of force by
governments, police, or soldiers when combating evil (see
notes on Luke 3:12"14; Rom. 13:1"4; 1 Pet.
2:13"14). Rather, Jesus focus here is on individual
conduct, as indicated by the contrast with Matt.
5:38, which shows that he is prohibiting the
universal human tendency to seek personal revenge (see
note on Rom. 12:19).
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek
turn to him the other also. One should not return
an insulting slap, which would lead to
escalating violence. In the case of a more serious
assault, Jesus words should not be taken to
prohibit self-defense (see Luke 12:11; 22:36"38;
Acts 22:1; 24:10) or fleeing from evil (see 1
Sam. 19:10; Luke 4:29"30; John 8:59; 10:39; 2
Cor. 11:32"33), for often a failure to resist a
violent attack leads to even more serious abuse.
Acting in love toward an attacker (Matt. 5:44;
22:39) will often include taking steps to prevent
him from attempting further attacks. Jesus
teaching must be applied with wisdom in the light of
related Scriptures that address similar situations
(cf. note on 5:42). [ESV SB 2008 re Matthew 5:38,
Jesus told the people to love these enemies.
Such words turned many away from Christ. But
Jesus wasn't talking about having affection for
enemies; he was talking about an act of the will. You
can't "fall into" this kind of love - it takes
conscious effort. Loving our enemies means acting in
their best interests. We can pray for them, and we
can think of ways to help them. Jesus loved the
whole world, even though the world was in
rebellion against God. Jesus asks us to follow his
example by loving our enemies. Grant your enemies
the same respect and rights as you desire for
yourself. [Life application SB]
There are different kinds and degrees of
love. Some spring from emotions, others are based
entirely on choices and commitments. Some are
constantly shifting, some are constantly growing and
some never change. God's love - the kind he has
for us and that he wants us to have for others -
is a choice and a commitment. It may include
feelings, but it is not dependent on them. It is a
decision to do what is best for someone else. That's
why Jesus can tell us to love our enemies, do
good to those who hate us, bless those who curse
us and pray for those who mistreat us. His kind
of love goes deep enough to overcome offenses.
[NIV Once A Day Bible]
It is possible to have compassion without
love, and it is possible to have kindness without
love; but it is impossible for one who has put on
love to be unkind and without compassion, for
love itself is not just an accessory garment.
Love is the complete garment that has all the
others built into it, so that love is a total way
of life. Ray Anderson [The 365-Day
Shaping Up in Gods Gym
When I was a brand-new believer, other
Christians warned me, Greg, youre going to go
What do you mean by trials?
Youll know, they said.
And when the first trial hit, I knew.
Why does God allow trials, tribulation,
and hardships in the lives of Christians? James
1:2-4 tells us, My brethren, count it all joy
when you fall into various trials, knowing that
the testing of your faith produces patience. But
let patience have its perfect work, that you may
be perfect and complete, lacking nothing
(verses 2-4 NKJV).
Trials are like Gods gym. When were
out of shape, for instance, we go to the gym. We
have to pace ourselves, and in time well break
down muscle and then build it up. And well be
stronger as a result.
In the same way, God lets us go through
trials to strengthen us. We break down spiritual
muscle to build it up.
For example, Moses went into exile for 40
long years. He was a hotheaded man who took
matters into his own hands. Instead of waiting on
the Lords timing, he killed an Egyptian.
But the Lord recommissioned him at the
burning bush (see Exodus 3), and ultimately, Moses
learned how to deal with people who opposed him.
Does that describe your life today? Are
you dealing with people who are critical of you,
who are making things hard for you? Have people
treated you unfairly?
When this happens, our natural reaction
is to hit back - and hit back even harder.
But that isnt what the Bible tells us
to do. Jesus said, Love your enemies, do
good to those who hate you, bless those who curse
you, and pray for those who spitefully use you
(Luke 6:27-28 NKJV).
When you do that, youre acting like
true children of your Father in Heaven. [Greg
Laurie from Harvest Ministries;
Do Good to Those Who Oppose You
When youre persecuted, harassed, or
facing opposition, you need to respond with a
Jesus says in Luke 6:27-29, Love your
enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those
who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If
someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other
cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer
your shirt also (NLT).
Who does that? Not many people, actually.
Its what sets Christians apart, because its
not a natural or popular or easy response.
It takes a lot of courage to do those
things! Anyone can retaliate or say something mean
God wants you to love your enemies, do
good to those who hate you, bless those who curse
you, pray for those who hurt you, and turn the
other cheek. Is that easy? No. Its the most
powerful form of witness, but you can only do it by
being filled with Gods love.
The movie The Butler shows how the
Freedom Riders, who fought racism in the South
during the Civil Rights Movement, trained people
how to not retaliate when they were hit, spit
on, cursed, pushed, or when people threw food at
them. Its an intensely powerful scene of taking
a nonviolent stance.
As I watched that scene, tears started
coming down my face. I thought, I want to be
that kind of person for Jesus. I want to be that
brave. I want to have a heart of courage that
wont cave in to whats wrong, no matter what
they throw at me. And I want to respond with
When you refuse to retaliate and instead
respond in love at work or with somebody who
doesnt like you, God will be pleased. And youre
going to be blessed.
God blesses those who are persecuted
for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is
theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and
persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of
evil things against you because you are my
followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great
reward awaits you in heaven (Matthew 5:10-12
Jesus paid a price for you. He says
theres a price to be paid for following him.
Popularity on Earth is not part of the guarantee of
being a Christian, but your reward in heaven is a
guarantee. [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren:
Reconciling Love and War
One area of confusion about war is the
apparent discrepancy between Jesus words and
Gods approval of battle in the Old Testament. Can
such dissimilar teachings be reconciled? How can
the God who told Israel to destroy the
Canaanites be the same one who said, Love your
enemies, do good to those who hate you (v. 27)?
To clarify this issue, we must
distinguish between commands issued to nations and
instructions given to individuals. The Lord has bestowed
certain responsibilities upon governments. He calls
them ministers of God for good and entrusts them
with avenging evil (Rom. 13:4). But to
individuals, He says, Never take your own revenge
People are killed in war, but this
isnt the same as murder. A soldier on the
battlefield carries out his duties under the authority
of his government (Rom. 13:1-2). Murder, on the
other hand, is an individuals vengeful response
to anger or jealousy and is motivated by a
desire to destroy another person.
When governments avenge wrong, innocent
people are protected, but when individuals seek
their own revenge, they destroy themselves and
others. In Luke, Jesus was speaking about personal
conflicts, not national wars. He knows that loving our
enemies is the only way to protect ourselves from
Would we prefer to turn the
responsibilities around - are we quick to fight personal
battles, but slow to affirm the avenging of evil
nationally? Sometimes the only way for a country to have
peace is to go to war, but well never
experience inner peace if we battle with individuals
who wrong us. [In Touch Daily Devotional by
Charles Stanley at www.intouch.org]
My husband and I had been separated for
several months when I realized that Valentine's Day
was just a couple of weeks away. Talk about
awkward! When two people are separated, they are not
really apart, but they are not really together,
either. So what is the appropriate thing to do on
Valentine's Day - send a card, don't send a card, send a
gift, don't send a gift? It's a real
I contemplated the dilemma for several
days. I even asked a friend or two what they
thought about it. But an obviously right answer
escaped me. Finally, I ran out of time to think
about it anymore. I had to make a decision.
Always the optimist, I decided to keep it
light. Do something nonthreatening. Don't be
maudlin or sentimental. Don't make him feel bad.
Don't get mushy or be critical.
I decided not to buy a gift - that seemed
just a bit too much, considering the situation.
So I went to my favorite Hallmark store to see
whether I could find a card that could, in any way,
be appropriate. I looked for about half an hour
and finally stumbled on one that I thought was
On the outside of the card was a picture
of an ape scratching his (her?) head. Under the
picture was the question "Know what day this is?"
And on the inside was the answer: "Me neither!"
It made me laugh, and I hoped it would make him
A couple of days before Valentine's Day I
addressed the card, signed it, and mailed it to my
not-really-ex-yet husband. And for two days I chuckled about
the card and his possible reaction.
Then, on Valentine's Day morning, I
received a dozen long-stemmed red roses at my
Dear Father, please help me to show more
sensitivity toward the people in my life. Give me wisdom
in how I interact with others so that they feel
your kindness and care. Amen. [The One Year
Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Mary Hollingsworth]
Be a Blessing Today
We have two things to give everyone we
come in contact with - the blessing or the curse.
If God expects us to bless our enemies, how
much more should we be ready and willing to bless
our family, friends, and acquaintances? Each of
us comes in contact with many people every day,
and we have the opportunity to give people what
their soul craves. We can bless them! We can do
them good with our words, attitudes, time, facial
expressions, and material possessions.
Think of it: You can bless people today!
You can also curse people, but hopefully we all
want to avoid doing that. We can curse a person
with something as simple as ignoring them. When
we do that, we make them feel belittled and
A few days ago, I walked into a room
where several people had gathered, and right away
a man approached me with a friendly greeting;
however, I had no interest in talking with him, so I
said a very quick hello and moved away. I did
what was best for me, but as I look back, I am
sure he felt my rejection and disinterest. I
could have blessed him by spending a few minutes
with him and showing interest in him, but I was
too selfish to do it.
I have set a new goal for myself, and
that is to be a blessing to everyone I meet. I
believe it is the way God wants us to live, and I
also believe it is the doorway to personal joy.
Father, forgive me for each time I have
cursed someone when I could have blessed them. Help
me change and be a blessing everywhere I go.
[My Time with God by Joyce Meyer]
To bless others is the very calling of a
Christian. As Peter writes, "Do not repay evil for evil
or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay
evil with blessing, because to this you were
called so that you may inherit a blessing." That's
part of the mystery and beauty of life in Jesus.
When you give something of value in His name - a
gift, an insight, a kind word, your time and help,
a prayer, a listening ear - it works its way
back to your benefit. But rarely at the same time
or in the same way! Filtered through God's
wisdom and providence, it returns to you as
something incredibly encouraging and helpful at a
moment when you least expect it. It may not even be
in this life at all, but it will accrue to your
benefit and delight in heaven. But be assured of
this: God is an incomparable bookkeeper, and He
never loses track of one kindness done in the name
of His Son.
What a delight! Bless You, Father, for
making this a principle of life: "Give, and it will
be given to you pressed down, shaken
together poured into your lap" (Luke 6:38). What
a sweetness to think that gifts given here on
earth have a triple impact - first on the
receiver, then on the giver, and then on Jesus
Himself! [A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada
and Larry Libby re 1 Peter 3:9]
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: