“And at the core of that being was love.” The stranger paused and shook his head. “Wow! Did he love!” His eyes looked far past the crowd now, seeming to peer across the depths of time and space. “We didn’t even know what love was, until we saw it in him. It was everyone, too, even those who hated him. He still cared for them, hoping somehow they would find a way out of their self-inflicted souls to recognize who stood among them.
“And with all that love, he was completely honest. Yet even when his actions or words exposed people’s darkest motives, they didn’t feel shamed. They felt safe, really safe with him. His words conveyed not even a hint of judgment, simply an entreaty to come to God. There was no one you would trust more quickly with your deepest secrets. If someone were going to catch you at your worst moment you’d want it to be him.
“He wasted no time mocking others, nor their religious trappings.” He glanced at those who had just done so. “If he had something to say to them, he’d say it and move on and you would know you’d been loved more than anyone had ever loved you before.” Here the man stopped, his eyes closed and mouth clenched as if choking back tears that would melt him in an instant if he gave in to them.
“I’m not talking about mamby-pamby sentimentalism either. He loved, really loved. It didn’t matter if you were Pharisee or prostitute, disciple or blind beggar, Jew, Samaritan or Gentile. His love held itself out for any to embrace. Most did, too, when they saw him. Though so few ended up following him, for the few moments his presence passed by them, they tasted a freshness and power they could never deny even years later. Somehow he seemed to know everything about them, but loved them deeply all the same. ”
Chapter One, So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore,
This is one of my favourite scenes in the book So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore by Jake Colsen. The man who spoke here was John, who came out of nowhere to break the fight between a group of Christians and another group of people who were spilling out their grudges to the church.
If there was one thing that ought to be highlighted in how Jesus was when He walked in the earth as a man, it would have to be how much He loved. This, for me, is the most overlooked and most underestimated part of the truth that Christianity offers.
Some of us resort to manipulative ways such as fear, condemnation, rules and standards to urge people to Christ. People these days see Christianity as a moralist group, instead of a family that is solely dependent on Christ’s love. It shouldn’t be like that. We’re not here to change people. That’s the Spirit’s job. We’re not here to condemn them for their sin. Jesus has dealt with sin at the cross. We, as Christians, are here to be ambassadors of Christ. We are His representatives. Most of all, we carry with us what He, our Savior, offers to the world.
All that Jesus offered during those times to sinners was His love and grace, and when people saw that, they changed. They repented, because they instantly fell in love with Jesus. Well, who couldn’t? He loved with so much intensity. It was enough to drive fear, condemnation, shame, guilt and anger away. His love and grace are easily the antidote to hurt, doubt, pain and regret.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4: 18, NIV
I just find Christ’s love so amazing, and I think that we should be preaching this more to this generation. Jesus did not come here armed with a stick to spank the evildoers or the inconsistent. He came here to save us and show us that God so loved the world— it was the reason why He walked the earth, doing miracles, and was hung on the cross. It was still love. His love.
And before we should focus on our loving our fellow men, we have to bathe in Jesus’ love first. Immerse ourselves in it, because His love is the only true love. If we try to give love on our own, that’ll be fabricated. The love that this world needs is HIS.
Since it is something already introduced to us, I suggest, beloved, that we take a closer look at what kind of love Jesus has. I know that it is indescribable, furious, beautiful, unfailing and true, but still, sometimes we tend to forget. We tend to lose the impact of God’s love when we’re out on our missions, activities or jobs. I urge you to freshen up your view of Jesus’ love again and again. As that happens, you will fall in love with Him once more. You will long to know Him once more. The dullness of life will pass.
Most of all, as you grow deeper and deeper in your encounter with God’s love, you will know what you’re offering to the people around you. You will be more confident in sharing His love, because you’ve experienced first hand what it can do to you, and you’re walking proof. You’re walking with Jesus.