If people were given the option of taking out some parts of the bible, many ‘Christians’ without a second thought, will gladly expunge that part that says “love your enemies”. That is why the Parable that Jesus told about the Samaritan man is such an important one for us today who only have one wish for our enemies – to fall and die.
Essentially, a man who we can infer was a Jew had been attacked by armed robbers and left to die by the road. Along comes a Priest who probably lived off the tithe and temple tax paid by this man who lay dying and he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his journey. Then comes a Levite, another Jew and he also went his way. Then comes this Samaritan who the bible says (luke 10:25-36) had compassion and he took the man and bound his wounds and set him up in a hotel to be looked after.
Now the context is that Samaritans and Jews have been sworn enemies for generations. Samaritans tried to stop Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 4:2); the Samaritan woman (John 4:9) reminded Jesus that Samaritans had nothing to do with Jews. So what this Samaritan man did in helping the Jew who received no help from his own kin was no mean feat. Essentially, he was showing love to his enemy.
Now contrast that with us. We find the instruction to love our neighbors so hard to live up to even when we think of it as our literal neighbors much less when it actually includes our enemies as Jesus illustrates with that parable. Meanwhile, what distinguishes us as God’s children is our willingness to love our enemies.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. (Matthew 5:44, 45 NLT)
Can you think of someone you consider to be your enemy and say a prayer for them this minute. And it’s not that they should fall and die!