“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, love those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6: 27-28 (NIV)
Did you notice that this passage of scripture begins with “to those who are listening?” Jesus knew His words would not always fall upon receptive ears. And yet He continued to admonish us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us.
My heart was touched this morning as I listened to a police officer talk about his encounter with Jesus as he was told to bless his enemy. Fortunately, he was receptive to these words and his life was spared.
The officer shared how he had been shot several times while responding to a domestic call. As he fell wounded to the floor, both he and the shooter ran out of bullets. He knew it was just a question of who could reload first. He prayed and asked God to show him what to do. When he looked up he said he saw Jesus standing between him and the shooter. He saw Jesus write on a note card and the card landed on his chest. The words he read told him to bless the shooter. So he looked up and said, “God bless you brother.”
Instead of killing the policeman, the shooter asked him if he would like to crawl back outside to safety. Although seriously wounded, the officer’s life was spared that day and the offender was taken into custody.
I think we all know what would have happened if the officer had not listened to the words of Jesus.
May each of us have hearts that listen. Who knows, we may need to say “God bless you brother” to someone today!