Jesus' teaching on loving your enemies is perhaps one his most--if not the most--difficult. By combining His teaching in Matthew and Luke, we learn exactly who our enemies are. They are people who
Fueled by the old nature, we quite naturally either lash out at people who do the above things to us, or we secretly plot our revenge. Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold!
Fueled by the new nature, however, we begin to see our enemies as those whom Christ loves and for whom He died, just as He loves us and died for us. We all are just sinners saved by God's grace. The ground is level at the cross. Jesus, of course, set the example for us in these matters. Rather than calling ten thousand angels to rescue Him from His tormentors at Calvary, Jesus asked His Father to forgive them for their ignorance.
As for His lambasting the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, think of it as a form of discipline, not vengeance or hate. Knowing what was in people's hearts, Jesus "told it like it is." Much like a good parent who reprimands his or her child and perhaps provides some judicious and appropriate punishment, Jesus as God in the flesh spoke His harshest reprimands to people who should have known better but didn't.
The leaders of the religious establishment in Jesus' day loved to be called, "Rabbi" (i.e., teacher), oblivious that their praxis did not match their theory. Consequently, Jesus gave them a taste of the judgment to come by calling them to account for their hypocrisy, giving them a chance to repent.
"Let not many of you become teachers," James said, "knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment" (3:1).
In Jesus' day, the Samaritans were the sworn enemies of orthodox Jews. To them they were worse than your average garden-variety Gentiles because the Samaritans held to a bastardized form of Judaism that included pagan elements and accretions which crept in during the Jews' Babylonian captivity. Knowing this, when a self-righteous lawyer tried to trip Jesus up and at the same time justify himself by asking "Who is my neighbor?", Jesus then delivered a scathing rebuke by telling the story of the "Good Samaritan."
In short, Jesus told this lawyer that his neighbor was in fact his enemy! How scandalous, and how revolutionary Jesus' teaching was. I suggest, however, it is no less revolutionary today. If you can somehow get past being slandered, rejected, hated, persecuted, and excluded, what are your chances of getting past radical Islam or other enemies (e.g., Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, pro-abortionists, atheists, et al.)? When is the last time you prayed for Muslims or for Planned Parenthood?
The lunatic fringe of Islam may be America's enemies, but even they are human beings whom God loves and for whom He sent His Son to die.
I am not suggesting that America not defend herself against another 9/11, nor do I condone, for example, the mass killings of Christians by Muslims in the Central African Republic. The "authorities that be" in any country in which such atrocities take place need to do everything in their power to bring them to a halt. And what of the Christians in C.A.R.? Should they simply lie down and take it, or should they take up arms to defend themselves?
Frankly, I have no easy answers, and I am not sufficiently familiar with the situation in C.A.R. to have an opinion about how persecuted Christians there should respond to Muslim violence directed at them. Is it inappropriate for a husband and father (or a wife and mother) to take up arms in defense of his (or her) family? True, in the Garden of Gethsemane where the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus, He did tell Peter to put away his sword and actually healed an "enemy" whose ear Peter cut off in his haste to defend his Lord. Was that Jesus' final word on the matter; that is, "Christians, put away your weapons"?
The fairly recent book by Dekker and Medearis, Tea With Hezbollah, brings Jesus' teaching on enemies into the 21st century poignantly and powerfully. I commend it to anyone who is interested in an up-to-date application of the "Samaritan ethic" in today's hurting world.