Love made Jesus come to his own
GOD MADE MAN OUT OF DUST: The Bible says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26)Thus, the Almighty made man, to lord over His wonderful creation, to unlike animals, have a mind of his own to discern and to, later, destroy and reclaim the world to be troubled by the powers of darkness named euphemistically as ‘creeping things.’ Genesis Chapter 2, verse 7 describes as to how the first man on earth came into existence, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living soul.”
CREATED IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD: That God has no physical form was made clear by Jesus, His Son sent from heaven to save mankind from the sting of sin, in John 4:24, “God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” When there is no way man can look like the Creator, what could have been meant by the reference, “the likeness of God,” in Genesis 1:26. If the above verse was written through divine inspiration, it certainly was, the ‘image’ and the ‘likeness’ of God ought to be there in the human body. The most plausible explanation Bible scholars agreed upon in this regard, is that man has the potential to know, love, think in tune with and obey divine will on earth, after coming out clean from the burden of sin-nature that we inherit by default from the first parents.
DIVINE LOVE CHALKED OUT SALVATION PLAN: Eve was tempted, and later, with hubby brought in line, the ‘risking’ couple daringly bit the forbidden fruit. The knowledge of good and evil, of course, took shape in their now weird psyche. Disobedience of the highest order rendered their successive descendants clueless as to how to always do the good they wish to do, and how to ever shun the evil they desired not. Yet, the all-knowing and seeing Almighty foretold the future ramifications of sin and the final triumph of Jesus, the only Saviour to be born, on the cross over the devil’s evil agenda to unfold, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” This presupposed that any scion of Eve would be vulnerable to the devil’s attack for being disobedient and would only claim to be ‘well-heeled’ in spiritual safety by accepting the Jesus Christ as his personal Lord.
LOVE MADE HIM COME TO HIS OWN: “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not (John 1:11).” Imagine visiting your own children who all you love and care most and they, turning hard on you! You will most probably feel sad or curse them. Our Maker met similar reception on earth but His love for us isn’t like men’s that have a price tag attached to it. The world had been wooed to respond to Divine love since the unfortunate epoch of sin-laden Eden. The omnipotent God relented, and directly talked to some of the patriarchs of the Bible. Yet barring a few exceptional spiritual giants like Noah, Enoch, Abraham, the hardened majority of the fallen multitude ignored His moves of grace to trace out from strays of disgrace. Jehovah desired a sanctuary for Himself among mortals (Exodus 25:8) and dwelled there till His holiness could hold on, but wanton sinning compelled ‘His glory to depart from Israel (1 Samuel 4:21).’
JESUS SHOWCASED GOD’S LOVE: The residents of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and their periphery who turned a deaf ear to the distilled teachings of Christ in the 1st Century AD missed a sea of opportunity to have got themselves blessed first hand by the revealed version of God as Man. Except for a few Apostles and discerned Disciples who later turned the world upside down’ with their ‘right-side-up’ attitude towards the over-the-top message of the Messiah, the Saviour was rejected. With His previous bids to make His everlasting love for the sin-bedeviled race He nurtured to magnify His name trampled upon, God, as the last option, expressed the gems of heavenly Truths that He kept in store to win back His earthly subject over to repent, get penitent and give vent to the call of the Gospel. Yet, human nature being what it was, perverted people, instead of getting converted through the trumpeted Good News, chose the ‘lamented’ way to crucify the one and only “Lord in Man’s-disguise” who could have saved them from eternal doom.
PUREST FORM OF LOVE LET LOOSE: Human love is conditional, situational and proportional. A betrayal by a loved one or a denial of a hope has the potential to raise the hackles of those who once promised ‘true love’ to one another. History is witness to provoked lovers ending ties for ever to rue silently in irrevocable emotional stalemate ‘till death do them part.’ Lord Jesus preached about a new type of love that expects nothing back in return save to accept Him as one’s personal Lord and Saviour in a win-win bumper offer. Despite our repeated failure to love God and our fellow beings, He still calls us friends and makes appeal to love one another to reciprocate His abiding love for us: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command…..I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you..….This is My command: Love each other (John 15:12-17).”
LOVE OF GOD SAVES SOULS: Love of men may make the merry world go round and ground it to a screeching halt, at times. Some even go overboard when it comes to romantic love to the frenetic extent of ‘going round the bend’ for someone who doesn’t even bother to mend ways to respond. We may grieve our merciful Maker with our transgressions of omission and commission, and we may react with the nonchalance of an owl and continue to foul over His will on earth. But through the written Scripture, the spoken Word, inspired Books, the suffering of trialed crooks, and the Light of the Gospel beamed across continents through Satellite TV etc, Jehovah’s constant plea to ‘qualified candidates of doomsday’ through His beloved Son is: “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6) and, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).” Yet, we are incorrigibly hell-bent on entangling ourselves with the half-truths, fruitless pursuits and crude offshoots of untruth that defer our coming to the Real Truth that Christ is; at our own peril.
THE EFFECTS OF HATRED: Let us tighten our belts friends. The enemy of our souls is waging a ceaseless war to turn human love into fermented hatred intervened by short spells of ceasefire-like truce. Love and affection in families are the casualty. Lack of clarity and audibility in mobile communication add fuel to the fire of domestic chaos. Deep down in the bottom of our hearts, when we, in the shade of moments, ponder over the finer moments of times gone by, there are enough reasons to let the heart overflow in love-mode for our dear ones. But complicated twists and turns of life make us zero in on the hurts and barbs, give curt opinions on others to cut down ourselves to the size of ‘loveless wrecks’ harping gloomily on grudges that don’t fudge, real and imaginary. Forgiveness is the only antidote. It’s said that ‘Giving back love for hatred is the greatest revenge.” When you don’t forgive, you grieve your own self more than others. Acid hurts the container most. Be on your guard. When you are stung by the venom of hatred, you will say things you will badly regret for, later. Unless desire is to score ‘self-goal’ to your dismay, let your tongue be ruled by your head, not by your heart.
LOVE IS THE GREATEST: God is love. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1 John 4:8).” Having demonstrated His supreme love for sin-prone humankind at the priceless cost of offering His innocent Son to be crucified mercilessly on the Cross, Jehovah now expects us to love like our Lord Jesus did, and say: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4 & 5).” We parents weren’t much bothered about the depth of love our parents invested in us from ‘womb to tomb.’ We get under the skin of such a selfless and profound love when we ourselves become the victims of the indifferent attitude of our owlish kids. That’s how we are dealt to know about the deep love of God, our Father. With our thoughts, actions and verbal blunders, we grieve Him like our disobedient children do to us.