TEXT: Matthew 5:43-45
In this passage, Jesus addresses the reasonable human idea that we ought to love our neighbors and hate our enemies. Jesus, as He has done throughout His Sermon on the Mount, flips that idea on its head, telling us that we ought to love our enemies as well. This was a particularly pointed command for his mostly Jewish audience who felt as though they lived in a land surrounded by and invaded by enemies -- Romans, Samaritans, and other Gentiles. Because these people had not descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and did not worship the God of Israel, they were seen by the Jews as enemies. In fact, the Jews' hatred for other people groups was so well-known that the Roman government saw them as haters of humanity.