There is probably no other teaching of Christ’s that I have heard quoted more than the teaching to “turn the other cheek.” Often it is quoted derisively as if the teaching were weak or faulty in some way. We are told to go two miles with the man that compels us to go one or if we are sued at the law for our coat to give it and our cloak also. Matthew 5: 39-41. We are commanded to “bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” Luke 6: 28.
Indeed the Lord commanded his followers to:
love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Luke 6:35
Why? He tells us, or at least gives us an incentive, why we should act this way: “your reward in heaven shall be great, and yea shall be the children of the Highest.” It is not why I should do it that I am truly curious about though but why He does it? Why is God kind to the unthankful and to the evil?
I believe there are reasons for this long-suffering, this kindness, spread throughout the scriptures. The one that I find myself pondering tonight comes from the first chapter of Jeremiah. The Lord tells this old testament prophet:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
It can be hard to remember that we are known, all of us. That we have capacity and potential that we cannot yet imagine. When we begin to view those around us in this light these teachings of Christ no longer seem weak but strong. We cannot see all ends but He can. He asks that we trust that.