Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Rom. 12:14)
WHEN PAUL WROTE THESE WORDS, he was distancing himself from many of his Jewish friends, just as Jesus had in the Sermon on the Mount when He taught those gathered to love their enemies.
The Jews have been a hated people from ancient times. They have been misunderstood, falsely accused, made to be scapegoats, and maligned for their business skill, different diet and fierce spiritual devotion. Many have survived by hating back, by refusing to be merciful and plotting revenge.
Who could blame them? Who could understand what sufferings Hebrew families faced when conquering nations defeated the land of Israel, subjugating the people and the land for their own gain? Who could deny the emotion of the Zealots in Jesus’ day, who wanted to overthrow the oppressive Romans? Who can know the pain suffered by the many sons of David who perished at Auschwitz, denied even the decency of burial by their Nazi killers?
The Jews indeed have good reason to hate and to try to get even. But God calls them, and us, and anyone who will follow Christ, to act in a counterintuitive manner, to overcome evil with good. Christians, whether they are Jewish or Gentile, show that His love resides in them by turning the tables and being merciful rather than vengeful, by blessing rather than cursing. This is love that can come only from above.
Pray sincerely for someone who has wronged you.
Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor’s wife, mother, author, speaker and editor of a publication for Christian women. She has a passion to communicate biblical truth concerning today’s issues.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.