We are all familiar with the words of the hymn sung for many years by
little children, "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me
so." What a sweet thought! What grand assurance, but is it so?
It is a Bible truth that Jesus was a loving and compassionate person
while he walked here on earth. We see him moved to tears as he looked
out over the city of Jerusalem with its masses of lost people. He
cried out, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and
stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered
thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her
wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37). He desired to bestow his
loving salvation upon them but they would not have it. The Lord will
not force himself on you either.
Jesus looked at the people lost in sin and saw them as sheep without a
shepherd. "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion
on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep
having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). Look around you, and you will see
similar wandering masses, poor lost souls wandering without the Great
The Master "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed
of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). In his ministry, he
was constantly healing the sick, giving sight to the blind and causing
the deaf to hear. These were all manifestations of his love for men and
AS LITTLE CHILDREN
As most normal people do, Jesus loved little children. He said, "Of
such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14). His disciples rebuked
some for bringing their children to Jesus, but he insisted that they be
allowed to come. He took pure, innocent, humble little children in his
arms and told the disciples, "Except ye be converted and become as
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew
Jesus also had close friends, such as the apostle John (John 13:23), and
Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany. We witnessed his strong love for
this family of Bethany when Lazarus died. Jesus approached the tomb of
his dear friend, and the master was so deeply moved with compassion
seeing the others in the throes of grief, the Bible tells us "Jesus
"A FRIEND OF SINNERS"
The enemies of the Lord hurled criticism after criticism against him,
but one they most likely thought their harshest and which would
prejudice many minds was "Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a
friend of publicans and sinners!" (Luke 7:34). That he was a friend of
sinners, Jesus never denied. In truth, he was their best friend. He
said, "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that
are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance"
The Son of God proved that he loved us in many ways - he gave up the
glories of heaven, divested himself of his royalty, lived a homeless and
poor life on earth, and he became less than an angel to suffer and die
for us on the cross of Calvary. What greater proof could you ask than
this. He calls us mortals his friends and simply asks, "If ye love me,
keep my commandments" (John 14:15).
HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE
Does man have the capacity to understand Christ's love? We simply don't
have the instruments to measure his love completely (Ephesians 3:18,19).
We can understand to some degree a love that would give itself to die
for certain people. Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
When we look around and we see a father working endless hours to provide
for his wife and family who are so dear to him, we get some idea about
love, but this is a normal love. When we see a sleepless mother nursing
her sick child, night after night, we have a little more understanding
about it, but it is still natural. When we hear of someone sacrificing
their own well-being for a friend, we can understand that. But none of
these things even come close to the self-sacrificing divine love that
Jesus showed when he gave his sinless life for his enemies, those who
actually hated him, who mocked him, spat upon him and finally murdered
him. As he died Jesus cried out, "Father forgive them for they know not
what they do." Paul permanently underscores the Lord's matchless love
in Romans 5:7-10.
He who had been Saul of Tarsus, the great persecutor of the Lord's
people, knowing what a great blessing Jesus' love was, felt compelled to
say, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit
for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might
show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should
hereafter believe on him to life everlasting" (1 Timothy 1:15). What
about you? Do you recognize this wonderful love?
Do you need the salvation that Jesus offered in giving his life on the
cross? Certainly you do! The Bible says, "All have sinned, and come
short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is
death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord" (Romans 6:23). So He gave His life for you. Doesn't that stir
your heart with love for Him?
Do you appreciate the great love that the Father showed when He gave His
son to die? Do you have any idea where you would be had not this been
done? If Jesus hadn't loved us enough to die for our sins, we would be
helplessly, hopelessly... lost. Now, if you refuse Jesus' loving
sacrifice for your sins, you are "without Christ... having no hope, and
without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).
Come to Christ. Believe that He is the Son of God. He said, "If ye
believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24).
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Are you
willing to repent (turn from sin)? Jesus said, "I tell you, Nay: but,
except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Confess
Christ. Again He said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before
men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But
whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my
Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32,33). Then be baptized for the
remission of your sins (Acts 2:38), for salvation (1 Peter 3:21), to
wash away your sins (Acts 22:16). He will add you to His church (Acts
2:37). Then you can go on your way rejoicing in the love of Jesus (Acts