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Does Jesus Really Love Us?

Does Jesus Really Love Us?

by Richard Nichols

Published in
The Christian Informer
November, 2000


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Last updated:
November 4, 2000.
 

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.

LOST SHEEP

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 Shepherd.

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 women.

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 18:3).

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 wept" (John 11:35).

"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" (Matthew 2:17).

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.

YOU

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 8:38,39).


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