“You have been taught to love your neighbors, but hate your enemies,” Jesus said. “That is not the way Heavenly Father wants you to live.”
Those surrounding the Savior listened even more intently, waiting for what He was about to say.
“You must also love your enemies,” He simply stated. “Whether they curse you, hate you, use you, or persecute you, you must bless them, serve them, and pray for them.”
Jesus spoke with purpose as He explained this principle to His followers. Christ’s disciples listened and watched in awe at how He could be filled with so much love and charity despite the way people treated Him.
“They are all children of our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,” the Savior explained. “Whether you’re good or evil, the sun shines and the rain falls on everyone. There’s no reward for loving those that love you. That’s easy. There’s also no reward for acknowledging only those you get along with. Be perfect, like Heavenly Father is perfect.”
Christ knew this lesson would not be easy and would not come quickly to His followers. He was simply laying the foundation to become more like Heavenly Father so we could prepare ourselves to meet Him and be like Him.