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Strange Love

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Leviticus 18:1–4 ESV
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. 3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. 4 You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 18:1
notice He brackets the statement by “I am the Lord your God, I am the Lord your God,” beginning and ending with that statement.
And because I am the Lord your God, you don’t act like anybody else acts.
You don’t live according to any worldly standard; not the one you came from and not the one you’re going to.
Because He was their covenant God and because they were His special people, they were supposed to be different from anybody else.  They were to follow His commandments and not take their lead from the standards of the people around them.
Israel, though, forgot.
Israel, though, forgot.
In fact, it came to be that in Israel they desired to have a king and their statement is this, “We will have a king over us that we may be like the nations.”
1 Samuel 8:19–20 ESV
19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
1 Samuel 8:20 ESV
20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
1 Sam 8:19
They wanted to be like the rest of the world.
And through it all, God kept sending them prophets, and the prophets kept reminding them about their uniqueness. 
They wanted to be like the rest of the world.  They even went so far as to say, “let us be like the nations and worship gods of wood and stone.”  So God kept sending them prophets, and the prophets kept reminding them about their uniqueness.  Prophets like Jeremiah who said, “People learn not the ways of the nations.” Prophets like Ezekiel who said “Do not defile yourselves with the gods of Egypt.”
Jeremiah said, “ learn not the ways of the nations.”
Jeremiah 10:2 ESV
2 Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them,
Ezekiel who said “Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt.”
Ezekiel 20:7 ESV
7 And I said to them, ‘Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.’
The message is no different in Jesus’ time, nor is it different today.  God wants His people to be different.  He wants His people to be unique.
Kingdom life is be absolutely distinct, absolutely unique.
Love Enemies / pray -
So that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
And the key to it is that you can’t live that way unless you are led by the Spirit, having been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
peacemakers 5:9, called sons of God.
And here in Jesus calls out the substandard view of God’s law held by the religious leaders.
Matthew 5:20 ESV
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
They were following the lead of the “nations” rather than seeking the holiness of God.
Summary(Anger, Lust, Divorce, Deception (oaths), Retaliation)
Summary(Anger, Lust, Divorce, Deception (oaths), Retaliation) 5
Pinnacle. Paul [greatest…Love]
Matthew 5:43–48 ESV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Like this is a summary:
Matthew 22:37–40 ESV
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37 ESV
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Matthew 22:37–38 ESV
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.
Romans 13:8 ESV
8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8–10 ESV
8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans
Paul says love fills up the whole law.  Jesus says love fills up the whole law.  And so in when Jesus begins to speak about loving, he is touching on that which sums up the whole law.
matthew 22:3
Matthew 5:43 ESV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
Matthew 5:43
Principle of Law:
Leviticus 19:18 ESV
18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Simple: Figure out who your neighbor is and then feel free to hate everyone else.
In fact, that was the big debate of the day… who is your neighbor?
Matthew 5:43 ESV
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
Two points:
In their teachings:
1) They left out “as thyself” (speaks to pride… the primacy of yourself above all)
v 10 mentions the sojourner (foreigner).
Leviticus 19:33–34 ESV
33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:33 ESV
33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
This was a big debate in Jesus’ day. To whom did the Love command apply?
1) They left out “as thyself” (speaks to pride… the primacy of yourself above all)
2) Where is command to hate your enemy? Nowhere. (prejudice) Added it.
Where is command to hate your enemy? Nowhere.
Who is your neighbor?
The excluded gentiles (sojourners?)
They also excluded certain classes of jews.
example:
Matthew 9:10–11 ESV
10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
John 7:49 ESV
49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
Matthew 9:10 ESV
10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.
They fed their evil proud hearts by concluding that anyone not a neighbor was to be hated.  In other words, they said, “The Bible says love your neighbor.  Therefore, if someone who is not your neighbor is not to be loved and the opposite of love is hate, so love your neighbor means hate your enemy.” 
Matthew 9:10
Exodus 12:49 ESV
49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
Leviticus 19:34 ESV
34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Matthew 5:44 ESV
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
3) Who is your neighbor? I mention because this was the debate in Jesus’ day.
Love your neighbor; love your enemies. Love all!
Fullness of the law:
Exodus 23:4 ESV
4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.
Leviticus 19:33–34 ESV
33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Romans 5:5 ESV
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
An abundance of Love is given us. [finish ch 5 in a couple of weeks]
May we show and may others see in us a special and unique Love; a strange love for even enemies that flows from big, forgiving, merciful, and compassionate hearts. May that light of Love shine before men, and Glory be given to God.
Stand and sing.
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How are we [different / set apart / holy] for God if we don’t love like God loves?
who makes his sun to shine on the just and the unjust; rain to fall...
Circles us back to the beattitudes; salt and light.
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