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Sunday, May 30, 2010

What On Earth Would This World Think?

Luke 15:11-12, 17-20

11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
17 "When the younger son came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20 So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
NIV

Today I went to church at The Way, in Fort Smith. I love the inter-active format there. We had time for praise and worship interspersed with testimony. Then Todd (Pastor) opened the discussion from the word of God. Today's discussion was about love. God is love, God has love for us and God wants us to love as He loves.

At one point, someone brought up the night Judas betrayed Jesus. In John 13:1, we read, "Jesus, knowing that his hour was come that he should leave out of this world to his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them to the end." One version says, "He showed them the full extent of His love."

Todd brought out how Jesus must have felt, to wash the feet of Judas, knowing Judas was going to betray Him, yet He bowed before him and washed his feet. The superior bowed before the inferior and washed him. It is a powerful thought—so powerful I haven't been able to forget it. In fact, it has caused my mind to roll continually with thoughts of God's generous love for us.

Jesus has the Father's heart. He said more than once, "The Father does the works." And, "I only speak what I hear from my Father." The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was the perfect reflection of His Father, God (Hebrews 1:3).

So, while I know God and Jesus magnify all we think is love, I think, while knelt before Judas, Jesus must have loved him just as surely as we love our children—even when they don't love us back. Even when they choose a way that is so different from what we have taught them. Even when they go against every bit of wisdom we've offered them. Even when they not only don't honor us, but in fact, dishonor us with their choices, words and actions. Even then, we love them. We kneel down (humble ourselves) and love them even in their dirty places—because that is what love does—that's what love looks like. Heidi Baker says, "Love looks like something." Yeah—love looks like Jesus on the night Judas betrayed Him.

And that was the beginning of the avalanche of thoughts. Because, if that is what love looks like, that is how He wants us to be with one another, isn't it? And if this is what love looks like, this is how we should be with the world around us, shouldn't we?

What would the world think if they saw us love one another this way? What would the world think if they witnessed Christians loving one another even in the dirty places? What would the world think—and how would they respond to love such as that? What depth could the Church grow to if we loved one another like Jesus loved Judas? What would the world think if we loved them enough to wash their dirty places—even while knowing they could betray us and not repent for it?

What on earth would this world think if we loved like Jesus loved?

1 comment:

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