Luke 6:28

ESV bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
NIV bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
NASB bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you.
CSB bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
NLT Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.
KJV Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

What does Luke 6:28 mean?

Jesus has just completed a series of promised blessings for those who suffer for following Him. He has offered judgments for those who have an easy life because they align themselves with the world. It's interesting to note that He tells His followers they are not responsible for initiating that judgment (Romans 12:19). In fact, we are to love our enemies (Luke 6:27; Romans 12:20–21) and pray that God will bless them.

"Curse" as used here doesn't mean to cast a magical spell. It means to feel or express hate toward someone. To "abuse" someone is to act on that hate, by damaging actions or threats. Jesus says our response should be to "bless" them: to express the opposite approach as a "curse." We should be praying for their redemption, in a loving and non-threatening way, and seeking their welfare.

At the same time, after we make sure we are in obedience to God, we are still responsible to point out sin. This can include involving authorities who have an appropriate responsibility to act on such crimes (Romans 13:1–5)._We should note where our enemies are in disobedience and acknowledge that continued unrepentant sin will lead to God's judgment (Luke 6:40–42; 1 Corinthians 16:22). Justice, judgment, and punishment are only under God's terms, not our own. We can only hold these seemingly contradictory responsibilities if we act with God's mercy (Luke 6:36). Truly, Christ must increase while we decrease (John 3:30).

When we pray for our enemies, several things happen. First, we submit our work and desires to God. This acknowledges that He has the authority to act and the sovereignty to determine the best course of action. Second, we share our hardships with Him, our loving Father, and allow Him to comfort us. Third, our point of view is oriented away from the injustice we face and toward God and His actions. We are prepared to watch God act, whether that be to draw our enemy to repentance or bring them to justice. Hopefully, they will repent—and we will gain a brother or sister in Christ.
What is the Gospel?
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