What’s love got to do, got to do with it. (Thanks, Tina Turner)
Story: Zach Brown
First off, shout out to all my homies! Thanks for supporting me, encouraging me, and praying for me, and all of us who are headed to Portland, or we may be already there now! How exciting!! I love you all, I know I don’t say it or really even act like it but I do. So I just wanted to get all that mushy, lovey dovey stuff out of the way.
Now time to get down to the “nitty gritty” as Nacho Libre would say. So first off I want to ask you a question. Do you love people? Or do you love what people could potentially offer you? I’m sure you have heard these kinds of questions before so I won’t bore you with expounding upon why you should love them. Because originally, that’s what this was going to be about. Let’s talk instead about love, and maybe what that looks like! Huh, sound fun?
(Read the following like a narrator going over side effects on a commercial.) *Disclaimer I don’t know much about love nor do I claim to, but I want to talk about it.
How many times have you heard “let’s love people, let’s just go show them love man? Love the sinner but hate the sin, am I right?”
Yeah but easier said than done, because it’s real easy to allow those pesky doubts, judgements, and worries come creeping into your mind. But luckily, we have a perfect role model to follow. Jesus.
“Yeah let’s love like Jesus did!” If you are in any sort of Christian circle you have heard this, and I am about to step on some peoples toes, but I don’t care. I think when we think of Jesus and his love we remember the big, soft, nice side of Jesus’ love. He accepted everyone for who they were, he didn’t care where they came from or where they were going. Let’s do that. Let’s think of him in almost a grandfatherly kind of way. He is going to love me, and care for me, and not really scold me for doing wrong, or living the type of life that I am living because he is nice and accepting of all! He is love!
Wrong! He is defintely more like a father, who scolds us when we are wrong, and when we begin to step out of line he quickly corrects us and makes us step back in line. To let us do what we wanted wouldn’t be love at all. It would seem as if God hated us because we would all be dead or dying. We cry nobody loves me when we don’t get our way. And we do the same to Jesus when he doesn’t follow our plans.
According to Matt Papa love is something that costs you, brings good to the other person, that we get to enjoy together. So looking at that I would say that Jesus loves us even when he denies us or rebukes us because it is ultimately for our good.
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother, and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. — Matthew 19:16–22
In Mark chaper 10 James and John ask Jesus if they can sit at his right hand, only to be rebuked by Him saying that they are not able to do this. And it began to cause strife among the others. But Jesus used this entitlement from those two as a learning lesson. He pointed to more characteristics of himself and showed them more of his glory in doing so.
In John 4 we see Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman. Which was crazy in that time because A) she was a woman B) she was a Samaritan and he was a Jew C) she was a harlot. He met her and shared the Gospel with her. He didn’t care who she was, but he wanted share the saving grace with her.
Repeatedly time after time we see Jesus going to sinners, to dine with them, to spend time with them, to sit at their table and have conversation. This brought him judgement and persecution because people were ignorant and did not yet understand. But I want to warn you, when you go into a situation saying lets love the sinner and just accept people, and withhold the gospel and all that it stands for, you are not loving how Jesus loved. He was known as a friend of sinners but with each one he showed them the truth. With each one he shared the good news of who he was with them because he knew the cost if he did not. He showed them true life.
Last, do we want to love like Jesus, or walk like Jesus? Personally, I would rather be known for following Him, than loving like him, but that is a daily choice that you have to make.
Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said,“No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” -John 8:10–12
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal… But it is immortals with whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors…Our merriment must be of that kind which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously; no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feelings for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner; no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.” — C.S. Lewis; Weight of Glory