How do you intend to show love to people? If your friends and family members were given a survey to review the way you love would it coincide with the way you intend to show love?
He Did It Without Regret
United States Senator Jake Garn of Utah did something most of us admire—and perhaps should consider doing ourselves. He donated one of his organs to save a life. A recent survey says 73 percent of Americans approve organ donation. But only about 20 percent actually sign donor cards and make arrangements for our corneas, kidneys, or other organs to be used when we die. In Senator Garn’s case, however, he did not wait until his death to donate his left kidney. His 27-yearold daughter, Susan Garn Horne, suffered from progressive kidney failure due to diabetes. Her condition deteriorated, and doctors determined that she needed a kidney transplant immediately. Jake Garn and his two sons were all found to be compatible donors. The senator insisted that he should be the one to give the kidney. “Her mother carried her for nine months,” he said, “and I am honored to give her part of me.” So, on September 10, 1986, in a Washington, D.C. hospital, a six-hour surgical procedure was performed to remove one of his kidneys and to implant it into his daughter. The radio news broadcast a story on Garns, and in it was a comment from the doctor who put the donated kidney into Susan’s body. At a press briefing at Georgetown University Hospital, the doctor said, “The senator is awake, has a bit of a grin on his face. He seems very self-satisfied, and happy and peaceful.” The senator had to be in pain at that moment. The incision through which his kidney was removed goes from his back to his front ribs. There were tubes in him, needles yet to come, and several weeks of recuperation lying ahead. But he was smiling! That grin on Jake Garn’s face could have meant only one thing: no regrets. Love makes it possible for a person to do the most difficult and dreaded of things without looking back. Think for a moment about what Jesus did to save you. He left the worship of angels to be born in a stable. He accepted the limitations of human form, suffered indignities of the greatest magnitude, and shed His lifeblood to purchase your redemption. The most astounding thing about all He did is that there is not a word in the Bible which indicates that the Son of God regretted doing it. On the day of His ascension back to the Father, there may have been a bit of a grin on His face. His only regret would come if you refused His gift of life.
Loving like Jesus loves is a high standard to set and impossible on our own to meet. Jesus sometimes asks us to do what seems to be the impossible simply because he wants us to depend on his power not ours to complete the task.
As we continue with our 40 days of love we’ll examine how Jesus loved during his time on this earth and how we should follow His example of loving others in our own lives.
Scripture: John 13:33-35
33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This chapter begins what is known as the Upper Room Discourse. It continues through chapter 17. Jesus takes this time to encourage his disciples about the future as they share the Passover meal. The chapter begins with Jesus setting the example of love to his disciples as he washes their feet. When he gets to Peter there is a conversation between the two where Peter asks,, are you planning on washing my feet too? He then tells Jesus he will never wash his feet believing this is beneath Jesus. He’s quickly redirected when Christ informs him if you want to be my follower you’ll let me. Peter responds by saying, well in that case wash my hands and head too. But Jesus tells him his feet will be sufficient.
Next we see Jesus calling out the traitor Judas and although his disciples don’t understand, Judas does and heads out to do what he had planned. At this point the wheels are in motion for the events that will continue throughout the night up until Christ’s crucifixion. That’s why Jesus said “now the son of man is glorified and God is glorified in Him.”
Once the difficult task of dealing with Judas is over Jesus turns his attention back to his disciples. He shares that he won’t be with them much longer however, they still aren’t getting it. Without missing a beat he says, “A new command I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
WAIT A MINUTED! How is this a new command? Isn’t it in the Old Testament that you are to love your neighbor as yourself? Of course it is. The difference is that now we are to love our neighbor as Jesus has loved us. The standard has changed. In addition the world will now know that you are Christ’s disciples if you have love for one another.
So what does it look like to love people the way Jesus loves?
1. Out of His love Jesus healed the sick
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, there were no hospitals, clinics, or doctor’s offices. The threat of incurable illnesses due to infections, fevers, or food poisoning plagued both rich and poor. Jesus, the Great Physician, felt amazing love for those who were rendered helpless by disease; whereas, many of the religious leaders of the day considered the physically disabled cursed by God.
Jesus is still healing today except He isn’t limited by being in one place at one particular time. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Jesus shows His compassion to all those who are not only sick physically—but emotionally and spiritually as well.
2. Out of His love Jesus fed the hungry
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:32).
In one of the greatest
miracles ever, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five
thousand people. These people weren’t mildly hungry—they’ve gone 3 days without
food listening and taking in the precious words of Christ.
3. Out of His love Jesus gave his life
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Nothing that is worshipped today can stand up to what Jesus did—stepping down from the throne of heaven to live among sinful people. He gave His life so that not one person would have to spend eternity without God.
The love of God expands time and eternity because of the one sacrifice of Jesus. Who is man that He is mindful of him? We may never fully understand how much God loves us through Jesus Christ, but we can receive His love forever.
Every action Jesus did was driven by His love for us. His presence in this world was an example of love to us, to be mimicked by us. A new command I give you that you love like I’ve loved you. Jesus expects us to carry on what he demonstrated, loving people by meeting their physical needs, loving people by meeting their emotional needs, and loving people by meeting their spiritual needs. Jesus said, there is no greater love than this that we lay down our life for a friend. Jesus has taught us as His followers that love should be our driving force and we should be completely committed to showing the love of Christ in everything we do. And by this the world will know that we are his disciples. Amen