The surprising thing is that Jesus was not the typical philosopher or preacher that people were used to. Unlike some other people Jesus tried to make his advice understandable to the common man, sometimes using stories or symbols, but always keeping his message simple, straightforward and practical.
Jesus dealt with many aspects of human life but the one that he spent longest on was the need for love. His focus was not just on the love for our friends and family, but something much more challenging, a love that tests every nerve and sinew.
‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’ (Matthew 5:44)
He spoke of a love for those who we want to hate, a love for those who already hate us. This love requires effort, and strain, and every ounce of self-command that man can summon up.
It is the easiest thing in the world to hate, to let the desire for revenge grow in our hearts. Indeed vengeance may even have the shadow of justice attached to it, but in reality it leads to dark, unadulterated hate and a spiral of destruction.
To be truly happy we must rise above the bigotry and jealousy of others. We must love even if we are hated for it. Love and do not hate, for surely love is the only path to peace, freedom and happiness.”