Jesus and His Enemies

Posted on: April 9th, 2023

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Jesus and His enemies is, why would He have any enemies?  All He did was go about doing good by healing the sick, making the blind to see, raising the dead to life, casting out demons, feeding the hungry, and restoring the strength of the crippled to walk again.  He also spoke of a place He was preparing that was forever free from pain, sorrow, death, hunger, evil, disease, decay, thirst, darkness, and fear.  Why would anybody say, “well that’s not for me?”  How could anybody in their right mind with the ability to reason and logically conclude say that?
    Jesus told us the reason why people have that reaction to what He speaks of and the place He has prepared.  Jesus speaks of those who react to Him this way as the ones who do not want Him to reign over them.  When Jesus gives commands to what a person must do in order to enter this place which He calls the kingdom of heaven, they turn away and follow Him no more.  It is a natural reaction for people not to like those who want to tell them what to do.  Have you ever heard a person say, “they’re not going to tell me what to do; who do they think they are?”
Jesus also spoke of another reason why people do not follow Him, and that is because of unbelief.  People did not believe that He was who He said He was.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  After Phillip said for Jesus to show them the Father, He said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (14:9).  When Jesus calmed the sea, His disciples asked, “who can this be, that even the wind and sea obey Him” (Mark 4:41)?  It was hard for people to believe that Jesus was God who possessed all power and resources, Creator of the heavens and the earth.  Even some that He was standing by and talking face to face with did not realize who He really was.
    Jesus reacted to His enemies like no one has ever reacted before.  Jesus loved His enemies.  When He was hanging on the cross, He asked His Father to forgive them, for they did not know what they were doing.  He also said that they were like sheep without a shepherd, meaning they were wandering aimlessly, searching for green pasture.  Jesus had compassion on His enemies who were like the blind leading the blind.  He longed to gather them to Himself like a mother hen gathers he chicks under her wings, but they were not willing.  Jesus loved His enemies to the point that He gave His own life for their sins by being crucified on the cross for their salvation.  He is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance.  
    May we all love our enemies as Jesus did, knowing that when it comes to love, it does not count the cost.  And may we all realize that Jesus is our example to follow, knowing that as Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those spitefully use you and persecute you; rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:44,12). < Marc Hyde >