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Things Jesus Said To His Disciples (Part Two)

I think it is fair to say that modern art divides opinion. Some people think it is genius and creative whilst others think it is useless and nonsensical! The reality is all art is subjective, and I suppose that’s the point, if it gets people talking about it just maybe it has achieved its aim.

One such piece of art certainly got people talking and possibly not for the right reasons. A ‘paper cut’ picture called La Bateau (The Boat) created by Henri Matisse in 1953. The picture was hung in 1961 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. However, it took 47 days for someone to notice that it had been hung upside down!

Wow, 47 days of people commenting on it, giving their opinion, enjoying it, or loathing it! And not realising that they were looking at it all wrongly because it was upside down!

Sometimes our perspective is the wrong way round! We think we are looking at things in the right way but we’re not! Jesus has this way of cutting across our perspective and so often he would say things that were counter cultural, that went against the norm, that were radical and completely turned things upside down!!!

As we look at another statement that Jesus said to his disciples, he does exactly this.

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”Luke 6:27

This is upside down.

For many of us we understand (to some extent) what love is and how we show it.

We perhaps enjoy loving those who love us back. It’s easy to love people we get on with, share interests with, enjoy conversation and socialising with, perhaps dare I say it’s easy to love those with a similar status to us, those who move in the same circles we do.

Jesus cuts across this way of loving! Love your enemies – this is what really shows what sort of love is in our hearts, it’s tough, testing, and costly to love your enemies! To be kind and compassionate to those who hate you. Because this kind of love means it’s highly unlikely, we will get anything back! Society can often be quick to suggest that retaliation, blame, getting even, are the best ways to respond to people who are hateful, BUT Jesus doesn’t accept this.

I encourage you to read the whole section in context (Luke 6:27-36). Jesus follows his statement of loving our enemies with practical advice on how to show such love. Here’s a quick rundown:


1) do good (v27) – There is something powerful about doing good even to those who are hateful towards us. I recommend reading Proverbs 25:21-22.

2) bless (v28) – even when people are speaking against us.

3) pray (v28) – for people who mistreat us.

4) turn peacefully (v29) – if someone were to slap you.

5) give freely (v30) – without demanding for it back.

Jesus calls us to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (v36) Jesus’ words are challenging, counter cultural, powerful and upside down! They may divide opinion, but they are 100% TRUE! I have a long way to go to get these things right, to love my enemies like this, but I hope like me you will keep on trying and asking God by his Holy Spirit to enable us to love like this.

The end result is a beautiful picture that changes lives, that people will see and be amazed by, and it will last a lifetime – not just 47 days!

– Mark.

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