Love is such an abstract concept. Part of the problem stems from how we use the word. I use the same word to describe my “love” for ice cream and my “love” for my wife. If someone ask me if I enjoyed a movie, I often respond by saying, “I loved it.” Is love a feeling or an act? I love rugby! If I do something that is loving out of duty or drudgery, is it love? For as much as we talk about the word, we are far from understanding all that it means.
For Christians, love is a person. Love is Jesus of Nazareth. If you want to know what love is, look at what Jesus did, what Jesus said, and what Jesus refused to do, and you’ll know how love works and how it doesn’t. Take your life and set it up next to Jesus’s life: How does my life compare to the life of Jesus of Nazareth? Do I get mad at the things Jesus got mad at? Do I weep at the things Jesus wept over? If you want to know what love is, Jesus is it.
That is why it is so significant that the Bible tells us that God is love. This is bigger than the idea that God is capable of love or that he loves each one of us. It means that looking at God shows us what love is like. If we want to know what love is and what love does, what love hates and what love values, then we look at him (Jesus). He not only calls us to love but also shows us what it is like.
For the apostles, Christianity wasn’t a set of doctrines. For them, the gospel was Jesus. I wish that were what it is for us today - just bringing people to Jesus.
We see many examples of this. Love touched the untouchable, approached the unapproachable, and forgave the unforgivable. Love saw beyond the prejudice of his day into the hearts of men and women crying out for Him. Love went beyond racism, sexism, and denominationalism simply to see people and what they really needed. Love wept over evil and death, celebrated life at parties and weddings, and showed us that God is much bigger and much better than we give him credit for.
Today, this revolution of love is called the church. We are the hands, feet, face, and voice of Jesus Christ to the world. To be sure, he moves outside his church, but his church is to be the primary instrument used to advance his revolution. Sadly, I love is one of the last words anyone would use to describe the demeanor of the church today. Insecure, threatened, naïve, simplistic, mean, and shortsighted - to me, all of these descriptions would be far more accurate. We simply don’t know how to carry truth and love together. We either elevate truth over love and beat people over the head with judgment, condemnation, and religion, or we are so accepting that we abandon the radical nature of Jesus’s message altogether.
The love of Jesus, to be honest, I am not sure of the origin of this. I think that it’s from book that I have read. I am sorry that I can not claim this to be my own but I honestly don’t know to whom to give the credit.