43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ (NIV)
You have heard it said. It is interesting when we read the words of Christ in our passage today that nowhere else in Scripture does it say we are to hate our enemies. Jesus reminds them they have heard it said that God’s word wanted them to hate their enemies, but this was never true. We should always question what it is we have heard concerning the Word of God.
It was the religious leaders whose interpretations of Scripture did not align with Scripture. In the end, we must set the teachings we hear next to the Word of God and check for alignment. The Bible does say that faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), but it is our own meditation on Scripture that creates an unshakeable strength within us. We become like trees planted by the water prospering in all that we do (Psalm 1:1-6).
To build our foundation on others’ interpretation of Scripture is to build our house upon the sand. We must build our house upon the Rock, the Logos, and the Word of God. In everything, we must discern the spirit behind what is being said. Had the people of Jesus’ day not been conditioned to accept everything the religious leaders said, the spirit of arrogance in their hearts could have been marked as unholy.
There are thousands of preachers all over television, Youtube, TikTok, and places I don’t even know. Everywhere we turn is an opportunity to hear what other people are saying. But we must be careful. Misaligned teaching, even if only slightly misaligned, is empty of the power of God. The word of God, not the teaching of men is the breath of God that speaks life to resurrect a dead soul. It is the Sword of the Spirit that circumcises our hearts and cuts through the attacks of the enemy.
When you are taught, make a habit of reinforcing the lesson by reading the Scripture and its context in prayerful meditation before accepting human interpretation or application. And who you allow to be your teacher matters. Make sure they consistently present the Word of God in alignment with the teachings of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Lord, let me never let myself be dependent upon human interpretation. Let me be taught well that might faith might increase, but teach me to meditate deeply on Your Word for life more abundant. Amen.