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Replay: Jesus demonstrates God’s love even towards those who reject him

Posted by on Jun 16, 2012 in love | 4 comments

Replay: Jesus demonstrates God’s love even towards those who reject him

Five years ago, I wrote a post called “Jesus demonstrates God’s love even towards those who reject him.” It was actually part of a short series that I did based on a meme that was going around the blogs about then. (Do you remember what blog memes were/are?) There are several passages in the Gospels that proclaim Jesus’ love either in word or deed. But, one passage in Mark in particular has always awed me. Mark writes about how Jesus loved someone who rejected him.

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Jesus demonstrates God’s love even towards those who reject him

I was tagged by Bryan at “Charis Shalom” to post five things I dig about Jesus. It was very interesting thinking about five things, so I’m blogging through my list. The third “diggable” item on my list was that Jesus demonstrates God’s love even towards those who reject him.

Jesus is the supreme demonstration of God’s love toward us – not a mental, philosophical, idealistic kind of love, but an active, moving, giving, doing kind of love. Jesus’ love cannot be earned, cannot be repaid, cannot be lost, cannot be duplicated.

According to Jesus, the entire Hebrew Bible can be wrapped up in one two-fold command: Love God and love your neighbors. (Matt 22:38-39; Mark 12:30-31) According to Luke, a Jewish expert in the law agreed with Jesus. (Luke 10:25-28) James combined the two-fold command into one: If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (James 2:8)

Love is important… love is necessary… love is central. And, God demonstrated his love for us in Christ’s death on our behalf. Notice, Christ did not die for us because we were righteous; he died for us while we were sinners. He did not die for us because of our worth; we were worthless without him. He did not die for us because we deserved it; we deserved only death, condemnation, and damnation. Christ died for us because he loved us.

There remains nothing in us to earn God’s love; and yet he loves us. In fact, though we cannot earn his love, we also cannot be separated from his love. God’s love for us through Christ is complete and eternal. This love is granted to us by grace; lavished on us despite ourselves.

But, what about those who reject Jesus? Sure, God loves those of us who are in Christ. He loves those who are new creations. He loves the sheep; but what about the goats?

There was once a rich, young man who came to Jesus. He asked Jesus a very important question: “Why must I do to have eternal life?” After a short conversation, Jesus told the man to sell everything he had and follow Jesus. The man refused because he had great riches. (Matt 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22) The man rejected Jesus in favor of the riches of this world.

Mark, as he often does, adds a piece of information that is not found in the other accounts. Mark said that Jesus loved the young man. (Mark 10:21) Jesus loved the man who rejected him. God-in-flesh, worth of glory and worship, loves someone who rejects him for land and money. This is the same God-Man who would look at those who were crucifying him and ask his father to forgive them.

I have chosen to follow Jesus. And, sometimes, I do. Hopefully, I follow him most of the time. But, honestly, like Peter, I often follow other voices that are not the voice of my father in heaven. During those times, I reject Jesus. And, Jesus loves me.

Sometimes, by my words and actions and attitudes, I deny and even attempt to separate myself from Jesus – again, much like Peter. And, Jesus loves me.

God demonstrates his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And he loves us, and loves us, and loves us, and loves us…

We can’t measure the fullness of Christ’s love for us – we will never reach the end, never find the boundary, never cross the line, never go too far, never find that last straw. (Eph 3:18-19) Nothing will separate us from Christ’s love – not Satan, not demons, not sin, not ourselves. (Rom 8:35-39)

When others forsake us, God loves us. When others disparage us, God loves us. When others hate us, God loves us. When others shame us, God loves us. When others forsake us, God loves us. When others are more holy, righteous, mature, godly, spiritual, efficient, practical, committed, involved, knowledgeable, smiling, Christian… God loves us – with an active, moving, giving, doing kind of love.

Whenever… Whatever… Wherever… God loves you!


4 Comments

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  1. 6-16-2012

    Alan this is by far the truest post I have read,this is the truth brother and thank you for this, we are nobody and Christ, Father and Spirit of truth are evrything
    I concur totally with this writing you wrote
    Howard

  2. 6-16-2012

    Alan then also notice mark 10:26, 27 this is where Jesus tells his disaciples it is impossible for man to enter heaven, and you nailed it with ytour post.
    then he said all things are possible with God, Jesus knew what Jesus was about to go through, yet he could only talk in parables until afterwards, for if the devil knew the devil would have never encouraged the religious to have killed him

  3. 9-24-2012

    I like to stay in touch with what unbelievers are thinking. An excellent source and, I feel, a very well written one at that, is a magazine called “The Sun” (www.thesunmagazine.org). Personally, I can relate to many of the stories, letters, and essays, and, because of them, I’m inspired to be genuine myself.

    It is one thing to know that we are loved, whatever, whenever, and wherever we are. But I believe it’s quite another to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge in our hearts so well that others unmistakeably see Christ in us.

    From the May 2012 issue of The Sun, the author is largely expressing the confusing disparity, resulting in an internal struggle, between tolerating and taking care of her terminally ill mother. Some of what’s tolerated is the apparent hypocrisy of a church-goer, her mother, when she’s not at church.

    Speaking of a possibly convicting sermon, where the reaction is one of, “Good grief! What if he’s right?” The author supposes that negative things carried for family generations can come to an end via a little applied compassion —

    “or, if you know full well you’re not up to the job [of forgiving people, and forgiving yourself], get down on your knees and let Jesus do it for you. That is the arrangement that’s on offer, if I’ve got the story right.

    All of a sudden church is over. These people! They grab you by the throat and wave God in your face, they preach damnation and everlasting glory, then they dismiss you just like that. That’s it. We’re done here. Go have lunch.

    At the door the preacher shakes our hands like we’ve made a deal, like we’ve each gotten rid of something we were glad to see the back of.”

    I say, let us make sure that is NOT the impression we leave as we encounter those who are struggling with real life issues, and are seeking a genuine answer.

  4. 9-24-2012

    Dwight,

    Thanks for sharing those stories. What do you think is the best way to interact with people who are struggling with real life issues?

    -Alan