What is love! Who would take this subject on at all? Who would even venture to tackle it as their first blog post? Moi! I fully understand that is is just going to scratch the surface on love. After all the “beloved disciple” taught us that “God is love.” So we are diving into a very deep well here. But I would be honored if in some way I can help put shoe leather to all of our spiritual understanding of Love. So I will begin with where it all started.
His earthly ministry ss what we call the days when Jesus of Nazareth walked down dusty streets, in smelly markets, with smellier fishermen. And he cast a long shadow on the shores of Lake Galilee. He even ventured, in love, to the forbidden city of Samaria. In those early days of his ministry he called his disciples, in love. We know for instance the Jesus had perfect knowledge of things past and future. Yet he still called these 12 men to be intimately involved in everything that was on his heart. As he called Peter and welcomed him, Jesus had perfect knowledge of Peter denying and cursing him three years hence. And called him, loved him, protected him anyway.
Christ Jesus also had a perfect knowledge of Thomas doubting the crowning achievement of all of the wondrous works of God, his resurrection from death. And you know what Judas did, yet Christ called them to “be with him”, anyway. Picture if you will, Peter and his brother fishing in a boat when Jesus called them. They had been introduced to Christ by John Baptist. Now Jesus would call them to follow him. What did they see in him? They evidently were devout men who had not only come to repent and be baptized by John, but stuck around, they were disciples of John. And John pointed them to Christ. They must have thought Jesus was some one important in Judaism for when he called, they followed.
Then Jesus, saw them, still in their sins. They are still weak where he is strong, still selfish where he is selfless. He is pleasant and they were crotchety at times. He was purposeful when they were distracted. He was spiritually minded, they were carnal. To top is all off they would abandon him at the worst time of his life and ministry. Still he called them. He loved them. He taught them. He protected them as he declared in his high priestly prayer in John 17. In short, Jesus gave himself to them and gave himself for them with the full knowledge of what they were, are and would be. He knew them before they were born, before the world was. And nothing, no sin, no religion, no demon from hell could keep him from winning them and winning for them.
Jesus you see, was not just seeing their “potential” to be redeemed and worthwhile one day. No, his vision is never so shallow as that. He looked at Peter and what he saw was a man. A man he had created himself. A man who was fearfully and wonderfully made. A man crowned with honor and glory whose body is capable of healing itself, living one hundred years on a harsh planet and most of all, a man who was capable of knowing and being one with the Spirit of God. He loved them for what they are. Yet in knowing him they would not remain the same. And Jesus loved them so much that he was willing to destroy the entire Jewish religion system that he had created in order to have an intimate and lasting intimate life with them. He took on all comers, High Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Romans, demons and death- and won! He won the right to make them not just disciples, not just friends, but “brothers”, and sons of God in his self same inheritance. In conquering the grave himself he gave them eternal life. He kept none of the rights, privilege, power and honor for himself. He has shared everything he accomplished with them, and with us who believe in him also. He is now seated, enthroned, at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1.20). And yet “made us to sit together in the heavens in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2.6).
Those 3 years were the beginning of love on the earth. And this was a love such as the world had never known. So much so in fact the the Holy Spirit “coined” a fresh word in “Koine” (almost a pun in two languages) Greek, “AGAPE”. This love had to have a new Spirit inspired word to be called by. This love broke over the earth like the sun shone on it on the very first morning. That light now shines in the hearts of his followers. And they mine this light from his written word. We will see that in our times we reflect that glorious light very dimly. And many on the earth have never seen that love light shine at all. Which is a travesty for humanity. I want everyone to see this glorious love the Jesus Christ brought to us, seemingly effortlessly. Jesus was (and is) the epitome of cool. There has never been a more calm man in all of history. Yet there has never been a man who suffered or accomplished a fraction as much as Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, who is Christ, the Lord.
It is a awe filled thought that love would be born in a small Israeli village. Yet that love was so dynamic that being in an obscure place long long ago can not dim its light.