Being that this flower is surrounded by sharp pointy leaves and considered a bitter herb, how is this plant blessed? As pretty as the flower is, the plant is a “blessing” for its medicinal properties. Blessed Thistle contains tannins which might help with diarrhea, coughs and inflammation. It was used to treat bubonic plague during the Middle Ages and as a tonic for monks.
In today’s verse Jesus is speaking specifically to all “who are listening.” He was addressing a large crowd including His disciples. But as in any audience there are those who are tracking and those who are distracted. These words are for those whose intention is to be a blessing. Being a blessing to enemies that curse, hate and mistreat you is done by showing love in two ways; doing good for them and praying for them. Those willing to obey will experience great reward (verse 35). And they will be recognizable as His children, being kind to the ungrateful and wicked, just as He is.
Being a blessing to enemies is not usually something very high on my to-do list! I have a hard enough time being a blessing to those who love me! But doing good to my enemies and praying for them is modeled by Jesus and He asks the same of me. I cannot expect any accolades or return from obeying. But there will be great reward one day for this hard thing He asks of me. And behaving as one of His children brings glory and recognition to Him! (vs. 35)
Thank you Lord, that in being a blessing to enemies, I too am blessed!