It’s worth taking a look in order to understand the powder keg that Jesus ignites here.
(Jason Mitchell is discussing the content of See Luke 6:27 and 28.)
“Love . . .”
We have all sorts of ideas about what it means to love, and most of them revolve around feelings. The word translated as love in this passage, however, is light-years away from sentimentality. For Jesus, love is an action-oriented, sacrificial, work-up-a-sweat commitment to do what’s right for another person. This kind of love proves itself in a willingness to give until it hurts.
“Do good . . . “
The word translated as good in this passage is tied to the Greek word kalos, which carries with it the idea of pursuing what is “right and beautiful.” So when Jesus talks about “doing good,” he is describing a kind of life in which we make right what is wrong. It’s a life centered on bringing beauty to what has been marred and broken.
“Bless . . .”
The ideas of blessing someone is pretty straightforward, It’s a translation of the Greek work eulogeo, which literally means “to speak good words” about someone.
“Pray for . . .”
In the New Testament, the word pray is tied to the idea of well-wishing. In the context of this passage, when Jesus tells us to pray he is talking about desiring the best for someone. We desire God’s favor for the people we pray for, wanting them to flourish.
My guess is that we all would agree that loving, doing good, blessing, and praying are all good ways to live. The tension comes from who Jesus says should be the recipients of these actions.
- Love . . . your enemies.
- Do good . . . to those who hate you.
- Bless . . . those who curse you.
- Pray for . . . those who hurt you.
So ask yourself, who is my enemy?
Jason Mitchell, No Easy Jesus, p. 46-47