For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
It’s not that the Lord never condemned. He did and he does. He condemned sin: lying, stealing, adultery, idolatry, etc. So, let’s not even think for a moment that Christians are not allowed to condemn sins. We are and we must! But what we must never do is allow ourselves to condemn or reduce an individual to their sins; to reduce someone to rubble; to caste them aside; to change their name; to call someone who steals ‘a thief’ or someone who commits adultery ‘a whore’. The Lord did not come into the world to reduce the world to rubble; to turn it into one big stone. He came to give life to the world; to turn on the light switch; to switch things up. After all, Christ did not give blood, shed tears and shred his flesh to come in second place; to lose. He gave it all to save us all. He showed us how to win.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, and what the Father gave to the world I can give to the world. I can give His Son to the world. I can give His Son’s love to the world. I can be His love in the world.
I think that love incites two possible reactions: love and jealousy. I do not agree that indifference is a reaction to love. In fact, I’m starting to see that indifference is a cover for jealousy. Love inspires us to either become a follower or a rioter; a believer or an unbeliever. And as we can see, Jesus Christ inspired both…and in great number.
The Sadducees …filled with jealousy …heard the report [that the Apostles were no longer in prison], they were at a loss about them, as to what this would come to. Then someone came in and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area and are teaching the people.” (Acts 5:23-25)
Jealousy fueled Herod. Jealousy fueled the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jealousy fueled the Sanhedrin. Jealousy fueled Judas. Jealousy aims to separate some from others. Love aims to unite some with some others. No matter what the Pharisees or the Sadducees threw at the Apostles; no matter how many times they warned them, they kept coming back. The Apostles were imprisoned, beaten down and thrown out. And still, the Apostles kept throwing Jesus at them. And eventually the Apostles, along with Jesus won. The days of the Pharisees, Sadducees, elders and chief priests are long gone. Only Christ remains.
To love means to open oneself to another. To love unconditionally means to open oneself up to Jesus Christ. To believe in Jesus Christ means to open ourselves up to others. It means to share the Good News; to live a crazy life!
The Lord deserves my love. He has paid his love with blood. I will be counted among the living in Heaven as long as I love on earth. His words are a gift to me. They are honest and true; like no other. The Lord is the alpha and the omega of the world. He reduces all epochs, all ages, all seasons and all times by his singular and everlasting life. I refuse to be mastered by the glamour of sin, of superficiality or by the trivialness of the moment. All idols grow old. All idols eventually collapse. Only the Lord survives. Only the Lord expands. The light of Christ enlightens my life and those around me. He reveals to me the sham of staged performances and appearances. While revealing the sham of the make-over, the costumes and the clowns, he reveals the beauty of purity, modesty, virtue and the depth of character.
Love is truly amazing and crazy, “It is just as crazy to not be crazy about Christ as it is to be crazy about something else” (- Peter Kreeft).