Baker Academic

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quarterly Quote of the Month about Jesus for this Week

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies." It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies."

~Martin Luther King Jr.


  1. This is a fantastic quote. And this is a truth apparently invincible. However, studies on historical Jesus manage to undermine also these kind of beauties. Once you discover that "love your enemies" may not belong to "historical Jesus" sayings, then you really start wondering what "historical Jesus" is useful for. Of course we can't know the "ipsissima verba Jesu", but it seems that also his "moral teachings" (like "love your enemies") are actually a later manipulation. So what's left?

    1. Lorenzo, thank you again for such a thoughtful comment. As you've probably already noticed, I post quotations about Jesus on a regular basis. I do this to illustrate a wide and diverse tradition of appropriation. I think it is important to understand how Jesus has been and is being appropriated and our generally tendencies of appropriation.

      That said, I think that attempts to divorce Jesus from the general impression he left on this topic are much too hasty.