But love your enemies, … and you will be sons of the Most High.
Many make fun at Yeshua’s injunction to love our enemy. Even our American President had something to say about it. In an interview where President Obama broaches several Bible passages including the Sermon on the Mount he said that (and he could be right) it is “a passage that is so radical that it is doubtful that our own defense department would survive its application” (see link below). We need to remember that it is not a prophet or an apostle who said that we should love our enemies, but that it is Yeshua Himself who fished the elements of His doctrine from another sermon on another mountain: the Oracle of Mt. Horeb where it says, "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him (Exodus 23:4-5). To comment negatively on these passages is to comment negatively on the very nature and character of God.
Reading the passages of the legal terms of the Torah we obtain a formidable peek at the very nature and essence, at the heart of the Almighty. The idea is that He expects these things of us is because they are Him; they are His nature. Just as if someone lived in my house I would expect them to live by the same standards I do, the Father who takes us into His great family expects us to live by the ideals He condones. His commandments reflect His very nature so when He tells us how we should respond to our enemy’s misfortune, we are given a peek at the way God is and He tells us to be like Him.
You might say, ‘oh, but when I read the Bible; I see God dealing with His enemies in very harsh manners’. Maybe so, but it is usually after repeated attempts at peace. The story of Jonah is the story of an Israeli politician whom God asked to go as an emissary of peace to Nineveh, a city that was stealing territory from Israel and harassing its northern villages. If Nineveh didn’t change its ways towards Israel, God was going to punish them. Of course Jonah didn’t want to go. He wanted God to punish those who were persecuting his country. Jonah didn’t want them to have a chance at repentance.
When people asked Yeshua for a sign of His Messiahship, the only sign He offered was the ‘sign of the prophet Jonah’. Not only did Jonah’s three days and three nights in the belly of the fish represented Yeshua’s three days in the belly of the earth, but through Jonah, this story tells us of the Father sending the Messiah as an emissary of peace to offer us, God’s enemy’s because of sin, a message of repentance before the end comes (Matthew 12:39).
Again this is all measure for measure. Yeshua taught us to ask the Father to forgive us our debts (sins against the Father), but only as we forgive our debtors (those who sin against us). So if we can’t have a merciful attitude towards our enemies, how can we expect God to have mercy on us who through sin have set ourselves in enmity against Him?