Happy Birthday Onyinye.
On several occasions Jesus spoke about Love. Love for our neighbors and he demonstrated this love by spreading the good news of heaven at hand and healing, performing miracles and wonders to everyone. Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles and just everybody he could find.
Jesus was not picky with his Love, he exhibited the same love for everyone. The worthy and the unworthy.
In 1st Corinthians 13 vs 4-8 we are told that
Love is Patient, Love is kind, Love is not rude, Love is not selfish.
Love is not easily angered, Love keeps no record of wrong, Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.
Love always protects, Love always trusts, Love always hopes, Love always perseveres.
Love never fails.
And I believe that Jesus Christ our perfect example exhibited all these attributes of love at some point or the other so…we will take it one at a time.
Love is patient – Here I use the story of Jesus turning water to wine in John 2 vs 1-11 but my emphasis is on verse 4 where he says to his mum, “Dear woman, why do you involve me? Jesus replied, my time has not yet come”
There are so many ways Jesus could have responded to his mother on this occasion but in gentility he explained at that time that his time had not yet come.
He didn’t speak with sarcasm dripping from his words. Where is the patience in your words?
Love is kind – For this illustration, I will take you to the story of the lame man by the pool of water that was stirred by angels and the first one in the pool was healed John 5 vs 1-14
Emphasis is on verse 6 “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, Do you want to get well?
See now, Jesus could have easily walked past, and the cripple man could have been waiting for the time when he would be the first to enter the pool after it was stirred by the angel, but Jesus, having the kind compassion he did went to him and ask him if he wanted to get well.
Not everyone might deserve our kindness but it shouldn’t limit our expression of kindness through Christ.
Love is not rude – To illustrate this, I would like to take your mind back to the story of the healing of the paralytic in Luke 5 vs 17-26.
After Jesus heals him by saying “friend your sins are forgiven” (20) the Pharisees and teachers began thinking in their hearts that who is this young man that speaks such blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? (paraphrased slightly)
Now listen to Jesus’ reaction in verse 22 “Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, ‘why are you thinking these things in your heart?’”
If we are to look at this critically, the mere fact that Jesus knew what they were thinking in their “hearts” not out loud was reason enough for him to say something like
“ehn…Pharisee people, I can read what’s in your mind, shey that doesn’t tell you I’m God?”
TRANSLATION “ You Pharisees, I can read what’s in your mind, isn’t that enough to tell you I’m God?”
But because of his humility, he addressed them with respect because he understood they were blind even if they could physically see.
Love is not selfish – The feeding of the five thousand in Matt 14 vs 13-21 , this is a popular story that we are told in Sunday school and we even made into a song.
First when the disciples ask for the multitude to be sent away jesus replied them in vs 16 “ they do not need to go away, you give them something to eat”
He understood the physical needs as well as spirituals needs of his flock, and he wasn’t just looking after the interest of his 12 Apostles.
Then in vs 19 -20 “And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
Jesus could have chosen to feed only his 12 Apostles, because if you check it, i’m sure the 12 could easily share the 5 loaves of bread, then they could simply have had 6 people to 1 fish and everybody drinks water to fill up the remaining space in your tummy;but Jesus is powerful enough to do even much more then we can ask for and he was not selfish with this power.
What have you been given that you are selfish with?
as we take time to think on this, this is where today’s study will end. By Gods grace it will be continued next Thursday.