Summary: The love that God has shown to us has no match in the universe
Community Bible Experience
April 6, 2014
A grandfather found his grandson, jumping up and down in his playpen, crying at the top of his voice. When Johnnie saw his grandfather, he reached up his little chubby hands and said, “Out, Gramp, out.”
It was only natural for Grandfather to reach down to lift the little fellow out of his predicament; but as he did, the mother of the child stepped up and said, “No, Johnnie, you are being punished, so you must stay in.”
The grandfather was at a loss to know what to do. The child’s tears and chubby hands reached deep into his heart, but the mother’s firmness in correcting her son for misbehavior must not be lightly taken. Here was a problem of love versus law, but love found a way. The grandfather could not take the youngster out of the playpen, so he crawled in with him.
God had set the Law for humanity to return to Him but in the process humanity failed miserably. The Law became a reminder that we had sinned and were separated from God. Instead of removing the Law, God stepped into the playpen of creation in the person of Jesus and revealed His love for us. Jesus came to earth as a man to live out a human life and to die a human death. Jesus came into the world to bridge the gap between God’s love and God’s Law, between heaven and humanity.
The ultimate expression of God’s love is found in the gospel of John.
The Expression of God’s Love
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God’s love is selfless
The words here were extremely radical when John writes them. The Jewish perception was that God loved them and would pass judgment on the rest of the world. The thinking was that God loved only the people of Israel. The reality that God loves the whole world would have been completely foreign to Israel. Jesus immediately begins to run counter culture with the Jewish people from the beginning of His ministry. The purpose of Jesus was to show the love of God to the entire world.
There is no selfish motive in the working of God’s love. God does nothing out of self-interest. Everything that God does flows out of His divine love for us. Every part of God’s character is an expression of His love. The reality may sound a bit cliché but God is love. We see in Jesus the perfect embodiment of that love.
The motive of Christ moves out of His love
The mission of Christ is focused on His love
The ministry of Christ is an outcome of His love
The mandate of Christ is to love one another
Think about the time that Jesus spent here on earth and everything that He did focused on one solitary purpose to show the love of God to lost and dying people. Every miracle was an act of love for others. Every moment of teaching was an act of love for others. Every confrontation was an act of love. The whole focus of Christ’s time on earth was centered on love and showing that love to humanity.
There can be no mistake; the heart of Jesus was on us. He is the example of the very nature of divine love. The term that John uses here for love is agape. It is the highest form of love in existence. Greek culture believed that such love was not within the capability of human beings. Agape was viewed as having a divine source and that it was beyond the scope of human perception. God’s love is so amazing, so divine and so different from anything else on earth that even the greatest of Greek words for love could not scratch the surface of describing it.
This is the nature of the love that Jesus shows the world. It is this love that intercepted lives and changed their destiny. The love that Jesus makes known is one of choice or of the personal will. Jesus makes the conscious decision to love all people, all across the world, the same. He loves all of us with a love that we cannot ever comprehend. Jesus chooses to love us even when we disobey, even when we rebel, even when we reject and even when we are unlovable.
We fail to understand this love in so many ways. If the church would just embrace this love and put it into practice, it would solve the vast majority of our problems. Most problems in the church take place when people lose sight of the love of Christ. Problems arise when people forget that love is the glue that holds the church together. The moment that we try to operate the church outside of the margins of Christ’s love, things begin to fall apart. The same is true of our lives as individual Christians because when we forget Christ’s love, we lose our ability to genuinely follow Him.