Matthew 5:43-48 – Loving and Hating

We now come the sixth example that Jesus gives us to show how truly unrighteous the scribes and pharisees were. It was commonly taught and accepted that the Jewish people should love their neighbors (Leviticus 19:18). Neighbor was always and only defined as a fellow Israelite. Non-Israelites were seen as enemies through the cultural lens of the first century. Here is the funny thing about that definition. Nowhere in the Old Testament are God’s people told to hate their enemies.