Having been created in the image of God, we embody the potential to reflect God’s glory to the world (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). We are changed through the Spirit into the likeness of the Christ whom we behold. “The Holy Spirit infuses God’s beauty into our lives and the lives around us (Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible).” The Holy Spirit empowers us to reach our potential in Jesus Christ to reflect Christ to the world.
Although we bear the image of Adam in death and sin, we also bear the image of Christ in the future resurrection and current living (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). Our reading from Luke could be thought of as contrasting the physical person, Adam, with the spiritual person, Christ (Luke 6:27-38). The physical reaction is to curse those who curse us. The spiritual reaction is to bless those who curse us. The physical reaction is to love only those who love us. The spiritual reaction is to love our enemies. The physical reaction is to fight back with violence. The spiritual reaction is to offer love, mercy, and forgiveness.
These instructions of Jesus are not a warrant for allowing others to abuse us and manipulate us; rather, these instructions speak of a resistance that does not employ violence to injure and harm another. It is about making things right through love, mercy, and forgiveness. May our behavior be governed by God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness as displayed in Jesus of Nazareth. May we bear the image of the person of heaven, Jesus Christ.