Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you ~ Luke 6:28
Jesus in His Earthly ministry had a way of pointing out the conduct expected within the Kingdom program. Here in Luke 6:28, Jesus teaches a principle that, in a simpler form, is well known.
The Jewish population knew well that loving others as yourself was commanded by the Law. Examining Leviticus 19:18 affirms that not only is God a God of justice, but of love as well.
The Scripture speaks,
“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”
The Jewish population were a people who lived by the letter.
Down to the letter, we would see that the Scripture says not to “bear any grudge against the children of thy people [Emphasis added].”
So of course, they would live by this code and love their people as themselves.
When Paul made the statement that in the Body of Christ there is no longer Jew or Gentile, this is breaking a multi-generational division that is long maintained by Jewish leadership.
As Christ being the Word incarnate (John 1:1), in His perfect timing, He is able to take a step further and call the Jew to pray for the man that curses them and despitefully uses them. He says this despite that person possibly being Roman, their nation’s enemies, and or another Jew.
Flash forward to Christ’s revelation to Paul. In Romans 12:14, we find that this action of blessing those who oppose is reciprocated within the teachings of Paul.
You may ask why there is such an uncanny resemblance. Well, think of it this way.
The Great Commission is often pontificated as the last words of Christ. But fast forward and we see that Christ kept speaking to His apostles. Paul directly received his words (Or should I say Christ’s words) from Jesus (Galatians 1:12).
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” is what Paul wrote.
Blessing those who are deemed “undeserving”, is not just what God calls us to do. It is in His being to do it.
In fact, He did do it. We do not deserve God’s grace or the sacrifice of His Son. Yet freely, He gave (Ephesians 2:8).
So that we can be restored and conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). So cling to this cross-dispensational truth of God to love those that seem impossible or undeserving.
Follow Paul’s example (1 Corinthians 11:1) when he teaches to “bless, and curse not.” For this is right before the sight of God.
In doing this, we are not negating justice either. We simply take God at His word when He proclaims, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” (Romans 12:19).
We are simply called to love as Christ loved the Church.