March 31, 2019

Oh how He loves you and me

The book I’m using for devotions asks a question about the significance of the events in John’s Gospel that are not included in the other three Gospels. After reading more in John, I thought of how we define other people. Often it is by what they do: Mr. Smith is a high school teacher. Sometimes it is by who they are: Mr. Smith is a man with great love and respect for teenagers. Or by where they came from: Mr. Smith was born and raised in Georgia. Or by their unique traits: Mr. Smith has a wonderful sense of humor.

These first four books in the New Testament are about Jesus. Each have a particular emphasis when describing Jesus. Matthew writes about Him as a King, Mark presents Him as a Servant, Luke as fully Human. However, when reading John, I get the great sense that Jesus is God who became man and loves us. Yes, He is Savior, Prophet and King. Yes, He came from the Father and returned there when His time had come. Yes, He was born in a stable. But more than all these, He is God who loves us.

He is God because He created all things:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1–3)

He is human, not like us who were created in the image of God, but fully God who became flesh:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

And He loves us:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16–17)

The religious leaders decided this was unacceptable. They accused Him of being a sinful man and wanted Him dead. The crowds loved Him as long as He fed them, but when Pilate asked who he should release, they yelled, “Crucify Him” forgetting His innocence, His power and His love for them.

The other Gospels are filled with action, their stories suitable for a stage play. John’s writing depicts the heart and appeals to the heart. It is more frequently used to show sinners how He loves us, and more frequently depicted in film and on the stage.

John called himself ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’ He used the word ‘love’ more than twice the times the other three put together. This theme drives home the truth that rebuffs Satan’s most frequently used lie that God does not love me. John wants his readers to know their security in the love of God.

Jesus, Your love melts my heart. From the least of Your children to the greatest, all of us need to know that, be reassured of it. No matter how long we have walked with You, the enemy tries to ruin us and make us stumble using lies on this very issue. John knew we needed to hear the truth in a variety of ways so we could we could be set free from the bondage that comes when we fall for Satan’s lies, particularly that lie about Your love. John could have written about Your life like a resume but instead wrote it like a love story. Thank You for the gift of Your love so wonderfully expressed in Your life as written in the Gospel of John.

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