We have been spending the last few weeks asking the question “What does love look like?” The primary reason I have spent so much time on this question is because of the importance that Jesus placed on love. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34-35, NIV). This is the main thing that distinguishes Christians from the rest of the world: they love each other with a radically different love than the love we encounter in the world day in and day out.
Jesus’ love was a love that was full of the grace of His Father.
He showed it in humility. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
He showed it in His confidence of where He stood with the Father. John 10:14-18 (NIV) I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
He showed it in being a peacemaker. John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
He showed it in being forgiving. Luke 7:48 (NIV) Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.
He showed it by being thankful. John 11:41-42 (NIV) So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.
Jesus’ love was a love that was full of the truth of His Father.
He showed it in His goodness. Matthew 12:9-14 (NIV) Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.
He showed it in His righteousness. John 8:46 (NIV) Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?
He showed it in His truthfulness. 68 times in the gospels, Jesus begins speaking saying, I tell you the truth.
He showed it in His wisdom. Luke 21:15 (NIV) For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
He showed in His fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 (NIV) The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD— and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
Jesus’ love for us was the perfect incarnation of grace and truth. No one loved like that before Him. But Jesus’ final command to His disciples was that He not be the last! On the contrary, Jesus said, “If you are My disciples you will love one another as I have loved you.” It wasn’t an option. It wasn’t a debate. It was a command! A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If we love Jesus, then His love is in us and we will love with the same some He has given us.
We have spent the last few weeks breaking down what Jesus’ love looked like so we can begin learning to love one another that way. We have done some serious digging into the Scriptures to discover the different facets of love from a dozen different angles. You know what love means. You know what it looks like.
But God really doesn’t care about how well you understand love. He really doesn’t. What He cares about is whether or not you live what you know. Are you living a life of love? When you look at how you love one another, does it line up with how you know Jesus loves you? Because to know and not to do is not to know.
This week we’ll finish up this series on what love looks like by exploring what it means to live a life of love. Hope to see you tomorrow!