The Commandment for Peace
The life-long peacemaker John Dear, has recently founded The Beatitudes Center for the Nonviolent Jesus. Today he expounds on Jesus’ surprising commandment to “love your enemies,” calling it “the climax of the Sermon on the Mount.” John writes:
We have this revolutionary commandment: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your countrymen and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons and daughters of your heavenly God. . . .” (Matthew 5:43–45).
These are the most radical, political, and revolutionary words ever uttered. They fulfill the vision of nonviolence, of work for justice and disarmament, of universal compassion and unconditional forgiveness, and of trust in the God of peace. Few discuss this commandment, but I believe it sums up Christianity. But we’ve done our best to avoid and disobey it.