August 4th 2013-Witnesses-MLK-Undeserved goodness

Jumping back into our series Witnesses, we look at a remarkable aspect of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Specifically, we hone in on his commitment to love his enemies and do good to those who hate him because of his conviction that this was God’s heart and God’s way of transforming the world into a Beloved Community.

If you want a study tool to go along with the podcast, see Lift Notes here:

Witnesses: Martin Luther King Jr. – Undeserved goodness

August 4th, 2013  by Kasey Crawford

Today’s Passages:  Ephesians 2:14-15, Luke 6:27


Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that:

“the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers…to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood…all of God’s children will be able to join hands and sing…” MLK

“we must not seek to defeat or humiliate the enemy but to win his friendship and understanding. “ MLK


Why this dream for brotherhood?  What is his source?

“The cross is the eternal expression of the length to which God will go in order to restore broken community. The resurrection is a symbol of God’s triumph over all the forces that seek to block community. The Holy Spirit is the continuing community creating reality that moves through history. He who works against community is working against the whole of creation.”  MLK


He believed God’s heart for the world and what Christ died on the cross for is to create a redeemed community of love- love for God and one another, which he called, the ______________ ______________.


Dr. King lived in the conviction that: If you are not with cause of turning enemies into _______________, you are not with the full cause of ___________ in this world.


How can one love like this?

Dr. King taught that when Jesus speaks of loving your enemies it is the word agape which is an “overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless.  Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people…It begins by loving others for their sakes” and “makes no distinction between a friend and enemy; it is directed toward both”…“understanding, redeeming goodwill for all.”


So Dr. King lived with the conviction that ultimately this agape love begins with _______ towards ____  and is meant to flow out to the world and turn enemy to friend in the creation of a beloved community.


It’s as simple as this. The world will be redeemed through God’s ______________ love and ______________.


Dr. King believes Jesus “is a practical _____________” in that showing undeserved love and goodness to “enemies” is the only way to bring true kingdom transformation.


“Love of even enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world.”  MLK


“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…So when Jesus says “Love your enemies,” he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition…The chain reaction of evil…must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”   MLK


Taking it home….

Who are people in your life who you feel don’t deserve love and goodness from you?

What are the situations that cause you to feel like someone doesn’t deserve your goodness?

Those are “enemies” that Dr. King (and Jesus) would call us to love with God’s agape love and transform the world through it, one relationship at a time.

Kasey Crawford