2 Samuel 18: 5 Then the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” The whole army heard what the king commanded the three captains regarding Absalom. (The Message Bible)
If you read 2 Samuel chapters 15, 16, and 17 you find that Absalom, David’s son, gave David a lot of heartache. And still in this chapter after Absalom has taken over the capital and driven David out of Jerusalem, David instructs his generals to “deal gently” with Absalom when they meet him in battle. Joab doesn’t. He kills Absalom and breaks David’s heart. Jesus will teach that we should love our enemies. David could be ruthless at times, but he could love this enemy because he was his son. Perhaps Jesus knew that we too could love the difficult and even the contentious people in our lives if we saw them first as family members. It would take an act of God on our hearts to be able to do that, but it might just be possible.