v 44. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Here is the other side of justice. You are no longer observing it in life around you, rather, you are on the receiving end of injustice. You have turned a blind eye when others have been bullied or ostracised, but now it is being directed against you. Is it the time to barge in, kicking and screaming; or do you retreat into your shell, suffer in silence and pretend there is nothing wrong after all?
Jesus comes across really clear about this – there needs to be a two-pronged response, both counter-cultural. Love and Pray.
It is this counter-cultural response that challenges injustice more than anything else. I admire Elisha’s response to his enemies in the story in 2 Kings 6:8-23 (read it if you get a chance today). Having surrounded his enemies in Samaria, the King suggested killing them all. Elisha’s response was ‘Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.’
Lasting peace was secured by kindness rather than vengeance.