“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
One of the joys of working in Children’s Ministry and Awana is watching children begin to grasp the incredible truth that Jesus loves them. From singing simple songs like “Jesus love me” to memorizing John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…”), the message is the same – Jesus loves you!
So far so good. But what does it look like when Jesus loves someone? Initially the answer seems obvious – Jesus loved us by going to the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. This is absolutely true – Jesus’ death on Calvary was the ultimate expression of love.
However, how are we to understand the following words of Jesus?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
When Jesus spoke these words He had not yet gone to the cross; but He told the disciples (and us) He had already loved them and they were to do likewise. They were to love one another just like He had loved them. So how exactly did Jesus love people while He walked in a human body? That is the topic of this Sunday’s message: “Loving Like Jesus Loves Me.”
In preparation for our time of study this Sunday, let me encourage you to read:
• John 13:15 – Jesus tells us that He has set the example for us to follow.
• John 13:34 – Jesus gives the “new” command to love like He loves.
• All four Gospels – sorry, I know that is a lot of reading. But everything Jesus did and said was motivated by love and done in love – so to get a better grasp on how Jesus loved we probably need to read about everything He did and said.
Okay, let’s just pick a few passages and see if you can uncover some ways Jesus loved:
• John 4:4-26 – the Samaritan woman at the well
• John 6:1-13 – Jesus feeds the hungry crowd
• John 8:42-47 – Jesus confronts the Pharisees (exactly how was this loving them?)
• John 14:1-4 – Jesus comforts the confused disciples
We can get a lot smarter about love when we look at all of Jesus’ words and actions through the lens of “How does this demonstrate love?”
Already anticipating our time together on Sunday!