Reading through the gospels recently, I’ve noticed something seemingly uncharacteristic about Jesus. He never came out and told His disciples, “I love you.” It’s true, go see! We think of Jesus as the ultimate expression of God’s love, but the exacting Old Testament God was much more vocal in His expressions of everlasting love than earth-side Jesus ever was.
It was not until the Last Supper that Christ implied His love when He told the disciples, “love each other as I have loved you.” -John 13:34
As I have loved you. So how did He love the disciples? By doing and saying what He saw and heard the Father doing and saying. And since that’s the only thing He did on earth, He was living and breathing love in the form of obedience.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind APPEARED, He saved us… according to His mercy, by the washing of the Holy Spirit… whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ… – Titus 3:4-6
Jesus was the expression of God’s love, but not because of the words He said. It’s because He Himself was the WORD. That’s why John, the disciple Jesus loved, opens his masterpiece with this:
In the beginning was the Word…
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1,14
Jesus’ love was not in words, because He Himself was the living Word: the living doing of the Father’s love. Jesus was Love in the flesh; the embodiment and conduit of God’s lovingkindness toward mankind. Literally toward men – sent to earth – Emmanuel. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Take a pause and let that sink in? The Word was not the talking kind of word, He was the doing, living, breathing, listening, acting kind. His mere existence in flesh and blood was Love.
Simply put, Love is a Person.
Love is Jesus.
When Jesus did talk about love, it sounded like this:
“If you love me, obey me.”
Love looks like something! If this is a challenge to you, let it be. It certainly makes me uncomfortable. Consider your day today and purpose to live like Jesus: short on the talking kind of love and long on the doing kind of love. If Love is a Person, then you already have Love within you to teach you how to love well. Listen to Him. Obey Him. This is Ground Zero for being like Jesus.
The way I see it, friends, if we are not loving each other well, we are living in disobedience.
So let us love well!
“A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another,
even as I have loved you.
By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”