Distraught, two sisters send an urgent message to let Jesus know their brother was deathly ill. Jesus explains that this sickness would ultimately glorify the Son of God. You can’t help but wonder: what next? Will Jesus leave everything and run immediately to the scene? Will He intervene from a distance? But before you read the rest of the story there is something important you need to know. Right in the middle of an action packed, emotionally charged story, the writer suspends the plot temporarily to make something clear to the reader: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11:5
A rich young man charges down the road to meet Jesus. He desperately wants to know how he can acquire eternal life. A dialogue between the two takes place. Jesus is about to tell him that one thing is lacking in his pursuit of eternal life, but before reading those words, the writer makes this point: “Then Jesus, beholding him loved him…” Mark 10:21
I wonder what the disciples thought the evening before Jesus was crucified. Can you imagine how special it must have been to hear Him say: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.” John 15:9
The Apostle John was so confident of the Saviour’s personal love he referred to himself at least five times as: ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’ John 20:2 Was John implying that Jesus didn’t love the others? No – he was drawing your attention to the fact that he personally felt loved by the Master and it was something he couldn’t keep from mentioning.
Was it a selfish thing for the Apostle Paul to write: “The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me?” Galatians 2:20. Why did Paul say such a thing? First of all, because he knew it to be true. Secondly, he found it breathtaking that he would ever be the object of His love. And thirdly, because he wanted you to know ‘why’ he was happy to die for the cause of Christ.
Dear Child of God, are you enjoying this love relationship today? Perhaps you have experienced human love that has left you desolate and disillusioned. Jilted. Let down. Cut off. Severed. The love of Christ surpasses human love.
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from
the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are you as sure as Paul was? Paul said: “I am sure that I can never be separated from His love.” Can you say as confidently as the Apostle John: “I’m the christian whom Jesus loves?” Knowing the fact that He loves me is one thing. But enjoying His love for me is only experienced when I am walking in ways that please Him. When I’m off track, I scarcely even want to bring up the subject of His love for me. I’m embarrassed. Guilt gnaws inside. I try not to have eye contact with Him. I’m ashamed.
When the sin in my life has been confessed, the joy returns. What joy? The joy of being confident in His love. The joy that Paul had when he wrote: “We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Paul was enjoying the relationship of love and hence his optimistic outlook in Romans 8.
Can you think of any hymn you could hum today about His love for you?