A Series on Love, Part 5
What overcomes you and prevents you from loving other people like you are supposed to? How could you be more like Jesus in expressing love? Consider John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Jesus overcame His enemies with Love. God so loved the world He gave and His giving overwhelmed the need of fallen man. It united all believers from every tribe into one Body. Our sin was not too much for Him. Jesus overcame evil with love. He cast out the darkness with His perfect light. This is our story. This is our hope. This is the reality in which we repent, marry, raise children, go to the bank, commune in worship, gather in each other’s homes and greet our neighbors over the fence. This is what we are to imitate. Jesus commands us to love like He has loved.
1st Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love overcomes. We are going to consider a few specific examples, over the next couple of posts, of Jesus’ love overcoming.
People brought Jesus their needs and Jesus responded by giving them what they needed and then some. Think of the paralytic who Jesus healed on the Sabbath. The guy just wanted to walk, but Jesus also forgave his sin. He gave the paralytic a better life and eternal life. More poignantly, Jesus saw people in need that hadn’t come to Him and He gave them what they needed and then some.
When Jesus turned the water into wine, no one had cried out to him. It wasn’t a dire, desperate need. It wasn’t a make or break moment in anyone’s life. It was simply an opportunity to bless people for the sake of blessing them. Jesus didn’t give them more of the same wine. He gave them better wine. He met the need and exceeded it.
The greatest example of Jesus practicing Love in this way is found in our fall and restoration. Adam enjoyed the garden where God would descend to meet with Adam in the cool of the day. Adam fell and lost that communion. Jesus doesn’t just restore us to the garden through His death and resurrection where God stops by from time to time. We are now in Christ sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven. His sprit now dwells in our hearts. We’ve been raised past what we lost to something greater and more glorious.
John 3:16 God so loved the world He gave…and what He gave exceeded our need.
Jesus doesn’t give us what we need; He gives us far greater than what we need. It’s like the sun. Have you ever thought of how much light we actually need to see, what would be the bare minimum of sight? The Sun gives us so much light we have to wear special glasses to protect our eyes. We need special lotion and tinted windows. I’ve been in places so bright I could barely keep my eyes open. The sun doesn’t just give us some bottom line, measured amount to keep us alive. The sun shines and overflows our need.
So does God.
For an example turn to Matthew 15:32-39. These examples include miracles. We are not going to make loaves feed thousands. But Jesus attitude is the lesson. He is aware of the people around him and their need. He’s looking for opportunities to love. To bless. To share an overabundance of grace. Living like this requires consistent repentance of our inherent selfishness and imploring God to give us the courage and compassion to die to ourselves and live for Christ, in imitation of Christ.
It’s like someone inviting you over for dinner and telling you not to bring anything so you bring a bottle of wine and chocolates. Or they say bring a bottle of wine and so you bring two. One for now and a nicer one for later, after you leave. They say they need a side dish so you bring it and some bread. It’s about visiting someone’s house, noticing their yard and coming by next Saturday with a few guys to mow and weed. Its like the lady in this church who comes over to baby sit for us, which is a massive blessing, and she cleans up our house. We tell her to put the kids to bed and have a little wine. Enjoy a break from her craziness. Instead she is meeting our need, babysitting and exceeding it, cleaning up our house. And we are blessed with an overabundance of love.
Luke 6:38 sums up this principle perfectly. Jesus says “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.” What a beautiful image. Think of filling a sack with grain. And you have to lift and shake it to let the grain settle and God fills it till it spills out all over your lap. That is how Jesus meets our needs and it’s how we are to meet one another’s needs.
Is your neighbor painting his fence? Call some friends and go over and help. When you’re making the family meal, make a double portion and take it over to your friend’s house with some flowers. Go pick up your friend’s kids and leave a bottle of wine for a staydate. If someone needs help moving than come early or stay late to help clean.
Ask God to give you compassion that you might see need and exceed it like he did with the bread and fish, not waiting till someone asks for help. Bless. Pray that you might overcome the needs of others with love; an overabundant, staggering, gracious, Christ-like love. Jesus doesn’t meet needs, He exceeds them and that is what we are to imitate. That is our calling.