Formations lesson for Oct. 30: How Would Jesus Love? : Friday, Oct. 7, 2005
October 7 2005 by Reese Blanchett

Formations lesson for Oct. 30: How Would Jesus Love? : Friday, Oct. 7, 2005
Friday, Oct. 7, 2005

Formations lesson for Oct. 30: How Would Jesus Love?

By Reese Blanchett
Focal passage: John 13:1-20

Little Emily ran into the house, crying as though her heart would break. "What's wrong, dear?" asked her mother.

"My doll! Billy broke it!" she sobbed.

"How did he break it, Emily?"

"I hit him over the head with it."

There is nothing like our families to reveal our true character. As little Emily experienced, there are times when loving a little brother can be a difficult task. Sometimes we feel like loving and sometimes we don't. But is that scriptural? Can Christians love whenever they feel like it, or must they love without bias, discrimination or prejudice? Must they love only those who think, dress, speak, and believe like they do? Is that really love? How would Jesus love?

The Motivation Of Love

John 13:1-11

Jesus knew He was close to the end. During His earthly ministry He was constantly on the move healing, serving, teaching and preaching. But now He was alone with His disciples to reveal the full extent of His love.

But notice how He did it: He left the table, got down on His knees and did a dirty job. He washed their feet.

Naturally, the symbolism was lost upon them as Jesus explains, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." He simply acts in full awareness that He is giving of Himself for the benefit of His disciples. Jesus revealed to them that true love acts responsibly.

Unfortunately, it often seems we have missed that lesson. Listening to the way church people talk about each other it sounds like they are running for political office, "He has poor relationship skills" or "Would you look at that dress!"

If the motivation for our love is simply to be liked, then we have missed the point of what Jesus was trying to convey to us. Remember, Judas Iscariot received a foot washing too!

The Maturation Of Love

John 13:12-17

Jesus goes on to reveal mature love. By asking a rhetorical question, He explains that we must follow his example.

We don't simply say "I love you." Instead, we are to reveal "the full extent" of our love. Nor do we simply love our friends, "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" (Matthew 5:46).

Moreover, to base our love on feelings is catastrophic because it runs the risk of emphasizing feelings over faith.

Suppose Jesus emphasized feelings over faith. Would He have pressed onward toward Jerusalem and certain death? Would He courageously proclaim to be the Messiah in the inner sanctum of the Sanhedrin? Would He allow the Romans to crucify Him when He could have called down twelve legions of angels?

None of these life experiences felt good, yet Jesus did them. The maturation of love is not an easily spoken string of words, it is serious, selfless work and it takes a mature love to count the cost and still be willing to pay.

The Ministration Of Love

John 13:18-20

A church ministry is said to succeed when attendance is up, giving is up and members are happy. But was that true in Jesus' experience? He ministered to the unhappy and the poor; He ministered to the lame, the leprous, and the lost; He ministered to the demonically oppressed; and He was constantly under attack by the proud and selfish.

Jesus ministered by rolling up His sleeves and washing the feet of His disciples and He sends us out to do the same. In effect, He was telling us that love isn't so cheap that a few words will satisfy the hunger of a lost soul for love.

You don't just tell them you love them; you must get down on your knees, sacrifice your own comfort, and do the dirty job of washing one another's feet. That is how Jesus would love.

10/7/2005 12:00:00 AM by Reese Blanchett | with 0 comments

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