Loving enemies, praying for mean people, and the Golden Rule: The least popular teachings of Jesus.
Take a few minutes each day this week with family, friends, or in your own quiet time to reflect on the Word of God read and proclaimed in worship this morning. There are questions for kids and youth on the next page.
Loving enemies, praying for mean people, and the Golden Rule: The least popular teachings of Jesus. (Luke 6:27-38)
Monday: We’ll start with the Golden Rule. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) These are some of Jesus’ most familiar words. What might the world look like if we took this teaching more seriously and truly tried to practice it in our lives?
Tuesday: Jesus practices what he preaches. In this passage he says, “Love your enemies…bless those who curse you.” (Luke 6:27-28). On the cross, after he has been mocked and beaten, Jesus prays for mercy for those who have treated him like an enemy: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).
Wednesday: Jesus says, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). What is mercy? What does it mean to live as people of mercy?
Thursday: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:37-38) We live in a culture that is quick to judge and slow to forgive. Ask God to help you today to go against the grain and be a beacon of grace for a world that needs the Gospel of love.
Friday: Read Matthew’s account of these teachings (Matthew 5:38-48 & 7:12). What differences do you notice in Matthew when compared with our reading in Luke?
Saturday: Look back at your week. Did you practice the Golden Rule this week? How so?
Kids and Youth
- Jesus teaches us to treat others the way we want to be treated. We call this the Golden Rule. How do you want other people to treat you? What kinds of things can you do to show the love of Jesus in the way you treat others?
- Jesus also teaches us to love our enemies and pray for people who are unkind. This is hard. Can you think of someone who is hard to love or be kind to? Ask Jesus to help you to remember to pray for this person.
- Hatred and anger can make our hearts and minds sick. Jesus wants us to have a healthy mind and heart. This is why he teaches us to love.