During His earthly ministry, Jesus asked His disciples to do some things that were contrary to what many of them probably wanted to do. Loving our enemies was another thing on this list.
This probably seemed strange to the disciples. They probably wondered why Jesus would want them to love their enemies? "Why should we pray for those who wish us harm," was probably a question that the disciples wanted to ask. I know that I would have probably asked that if I were in their shoes.
Many of us have met people that we find difficult to love. I know I have. However, we cannot base our decision to love someone on our feelings towards the person. We cannot allow ourselves to love only those that we like. This is the point that Jesus was trying to get across to the crowds.
Tax collectors were, and still are, some of the most despised people in society. They were looked down upon. However, Jesus used them to illustrate a point. Tax collectors still loved those who loved them. If we follow their example, and love only those who love us, how are we any different from them? Should we do this, we are violating the command of God, that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. When we love our neighbor, despite our feelings toward him or her, we are following the example that God gave for us through Christ Jesus.
Today, let's choose to listen to Jesus over our feelings toward others. We should love all of our neighbors, but especially the one that we do not want to show love to. We should pray for those who wish us harm. All the while, we should give glory to God.