37 People are to show kindness to even their enemies.

Exodus 21:23–25; Leviticus 19:2, 18; 24:20; Deuteronomy 15:8; 19:21; Proverbs 25:21–22; Matthew 5:38–48; Luke 6:27–36

Why would the Jews have had trouble accepting Jesus’ exhortation to “love your enemies” (Luke 6:27)?

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What is the value of loving people who would harm you if they could (Luke 6:27)?

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If we “turn the other cheek” instead of striking back, what can happen (Luke 6:29)?

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When should we give to a panhandler and when should we say no (Luke 6:30)?

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How can we let go of a grudge against someone who has injured us or has stolen from us (Luke 6:30)?

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What is the “golden rule,” and why is it important (Luke 6:31)?

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Why do people seek vengeance, doing unto others what they have had done to them (Luke 6:31)?

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What is the consequence of unforgiveness (Matthew 5:48)?

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How is forgiving different from forgetting (Matthew 5:48)?

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You have heard it said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth,’ but I say you should not try to get even. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Show kindness to those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek. If someone wants your shirt, be willing to give up your coat as well. If a soldier demands you carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two. Give to everyone who asks, and do not refuse those who want to borrow something. When things are taken from you, do not demand their return. Do what you would have others do to you.

Eyewitness

Exodus 21:23–25 If there is injury, the punishment must match: a life for a life, 24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
Leviticus 24:20 Bone for bone, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, whatever one does to injure another must be punished in kind.
Deuteronomy 15:8 Extend your hand to help the poor and lend what is sufficient to satisfy their needs.
Deuteronomy 19:21 Show no mercy for the guilty but punish in kind, a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot.
Matthew 5:38–42 “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say you should not try to get even. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek. If someone wants your shirt, be willing to give up your coat as well. If a soldier demands you carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two. Give to everyone who asks, and do not refuse those who want to borrow something.
Luke 6:27–31 “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Show kindness to those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek. If someone wants your shirt, be willing to give up your coat as well. Give to everyone who asks, and when things are taken from you, do not demand their return. Do what you would have others do to you.
King James

Exodus 21:23–25 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Leviticus 24:20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
Deuteronomy 15:8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
Deuteronomy 19:21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Matthew 5:38–42 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Luke 6:27–31 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

“People usually say, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy,’ but I say you should show kindness to your enemies, doing good to those who persecute you. Your Father in Heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good. He sends rain on both the righteous and unrighteous. You should show kindness as he does.

Eyewitness

Leviticus 19:18 Never seek revenge or carry a grudge against one of your people but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Proverbs 25:21–22 If your enemy is hungry, prepare a feast for him. If he is thirsty, give him your best wine. Your generosity will amaze him—as much a shock as coals of fire being poured upon his head—and God will reward you.
Matthew 5:43–45 “People usually say, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy,’ but I say you should show kindness to your enemies, doing good to those who persecute you. Your Father in Heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good. He sends rain on both the righteous and unrighteous. You should show kindness as he does.
King James

Leviticus 19:18 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.
Proverbs 25:21–22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.
Matthew 5:43–45 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

“What is commendable about loving only those who love you? Even greedy tax collectors and other sinners do that. If you warmly greet only your brothers, you accomplish no more than the pagans. You get no credit for showing kindness to those who treat you well, because sinners do that much. Will you receive compliments for lending money only to those you are sure will pay you back? Even sinners lend to sinners when they are confident of repayment. Lend when you have no assurance of being paid back. Then you will be rewarded as children who are like their Father God, who is kind to the wicked and ungrateful.

Eyewitness

Matthew 5:46–47 “What is commendable about loving only those who love you? Even greedy tax collectors and other sinners do that. If you warmly greet only your brothers, you accomplish no more than the pagans.
Luke 6:32–35 “What is commendable about loving only those who love you? Even sinners do that. You get no credit for showing kindness to those who treat you well, because sinners do that much. Will you receive compliments for lending money only to those you are sure will pay you back? Even sinners lend to sinners when they are confident of repayment. Lend when you have no assurance of being paid back. Then you will be rewarded as children who are like their Father God, who is kind to the wicked and ungrateful.
King James

Matthew 5:46–47 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Luke 6:32–35 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

“Show mercy to others, just as your Father has shown mercy to you.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 5:48 “Show mercy to others, just as your Father has shown mercy to you.”
Luke 6:36 “Show mercy to others, just as your Father has shown mercy to you.”
King James

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.