When I think about this verse of scripture, John 15:13, I realize that it is speaking of laying down your life for your friends, but what about the people you don’t know, or ones who may have hurt you? Can you still say that you would be willing to lay down your life for them? Matthew 5 has the Beatitudes, and also the following scriptures that teach us the best way to interact with others:
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
We certainly couldn’t love our enemies without realizing that the grace and mercy the Lord extends to us, is also available for those who may not know him, yet. I know that I am often quick to avoid those who may have disappointed me, but I’m working on building trust, through Jesus Christ.
If anyone had a right to turn away, it had to be Jesus Christ. People rejected him; yet, he loved them enough to sacrifice his life at Calvary.
Would I be willing to lay down my life for my enemies? I really don’t know, yet through Jesus, I can learn to forgive my enemies.
I am thankful that both men and women were willing to go into danger, some losing their lives, so that we might keep our freedom. They didn’t know us, yet they were willing to go and serve. For that, I am thankful.