Jesus knew that many forces would try to deter Him from reaching His objectives. However, in every situation, the Lord stayed confident in the fact that one should not be overcome with evil. Instead, He overcame evil with love. Love finds a way when there seems to be no way to solve our problems. Love finds strength when weariness reaches down into the depth of our soul. Love ushers in a supernatural endowment of God’s wisdom when we have exhausted all human ideas. Love convinces the worst skeptics of the truth when rational explanations fail. When everything else seems to fall short, Jesus knew that love finds the way of success!
1. Jesus counted on His heavenly Father’s love to see Him through any challenge. One day as Jesus and the disciples were sailing on the sea of Galilee, a fierce storm swamped the boat and they suddenly in great danger. The disciples woke Jesus saying, "Master, Master, we’re going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters and all was immediately calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disicples. (Luke 8:24,25) When you are secure in the love of God, nothing threatens your sense of well being.
2. Jesus confidently stood before His accusers secure in God’s love to use human authorities to carry out the heavenly Father’s higher plans. Pontius Pilate, ruler of Roman, said to Jesus, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." (John 19:10,11) When you are being questioned by authorities be assured that God’s reign is supreme over all powers. Jesus knew that the heavenly Father’s plans could even be carried out by an unrighteous ruler.
3. Jesus never vacillated in His actions because love directed His steps. One day the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. Simon Peter, drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?""(John 18:10,11) Do not give in to the temptation to over react in the face of heated opposition. Keep your head cool when others tend to lose control of their own thinking.
4. Jesus wanted to show Peter and the apostles that love would help them overcome any difficulty. Jesus said, "Simon Peter, do you love Me?…. Then, feed my sheep." (John 21:15-18) Christ’s love extended to giving vocationally and avocationally (secondary activity done in addition to one’s work) guidance counseling. When Christ’s love abides in us, it will affect every dimension of our lifestyles.
5. Jesus allowed love to keep Him from growing bitter against His enemies. While Jesus was speaking, Judas Iscariot arrived with a crowd armed with clubs and swords, sent from the chief priests to arrest Jesus. Judas, the betrayer had arranged a signal with the crowd to signal which one to apprehend. Going at once to Jesus, Judas said to Jesus, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." (Matt. 26:48-50) When love controls our mind, will and emotions we are able to show love to the worst of betrayers.
6. Jesus did not allow His love to cloud His ability to make wise decisions. One day the disciples forgot to take bread along for their journey. Jesus said to them, "Be careful and be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Saducees." (Matt. 16:5,6) Jesus used every opportunity to teach His disciples the importance of falling into the traps of traditionalism, humanism, legalism or spiritism. The Good Shepherd’s love was not so subjective that it clouded His ability to think objectively about truth!
7. Jesus wanted the disciples to realize that in His presence there was fullness of joy, peace and love. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."(Matt. 14:25-27) When we cointinually practice the presence of Christ in our hearts through singing, thanking and praising God, we can be filled with His Spirit’s power. Too many Christians live their lives only operating on a tiny fraction of the power that is available to them in the person of the Holy Spirit.
8. Jesus showed His love through tears and power. One day Jesus found Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Mary and Martha saw Jesus they said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again… I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…. Jesus saw Martha weeping and when he saw where they laid Lazarus He wept." (John 11:17-26,35) Our Lord is able to overcome death, judgment and hell by His great love!