Loves much

How does one teach love? The bible says, we love because he loved us first and those who have been forgiven much love much.” God uses our sinfulness to teach us love. David, was not flawless, and yet he was intimate with God.

• God’s not looking for the perfect, but the passionate.

Jesus’ contemporaries ‘kept’ the commandments to “code” and yet couldn’t understand the love of God. They had perfect score cards, but no passion for the score keeper. Torah reveals how short we fall of God’s standards and how far we are from perfection. We are unable to be who God desires us to be, on our own.

• God’s doesn’t need our flawlessness, he desires our faithfulness.

The ironic thing is that the very first commandment is the fulfillment of the whole law.  How often do we skip over ‘love the Lord your God’ and immediately begin to measure our righteousness?

Jesus said, he didn’t come for the righteous and the healthy ones don’t need doctors.   In contrast, the unhealthy are the sinners, those who by their odorous wounds, admit they  haven’t met God’s standards. They have in some way, worn their flawed lives on the outside.These are the blind, the lepers, the lame and the desperately immoral who are far beyond helping themselves and they know it.

Jesus called his peers, white washed walls. White washed walls was a reference to the tombs. These were tombs were made of clean, white marble. Men don’t fool God, they fool themselves into believing they are what others see. being convinced they are not the sick, who need to press in, wash Jesus’ feet, beg for mercy, and eat his bread-they never get close enough to learn the love of God.
God did not come for the strong. He chose Israel because they were the smallest  of all nations. i believe God looked down and saw broken men, sinful immoral people, angry fathers, hard hearts and stiff necks.   No matter how straight and narrow they walked, their hearts were corrupt.  No matter how flawless they looked the human heart is desperately wicked. Only God can see inside and His purposes will always be to mend the broken, draw near to the crushed, save the lost, want the unwanted, so that he can have a kingdom of people whom he can trust and dwell among. Who better to trust than those who love you. He wants a kingdom of people who love him because they know.

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• God doesn’t desire strong kings, but humble citizens.

Without knowing his mercy, it’s hard to know his love.  You cannot love someone you don’t know. The first order of business, from Adam to us, is to extend grace pursue a loving interactive relationship with his creation. when we see how far he has come to find us, it’s hard to continue hiding, and without knowing sin, it’s hard to see how far he has come.

One factor that helps us see God, is seeing ourselves first. knowing the condition of our hearts – because we are the only other one who can know our hearts besides for God. Something people are not always willing to do. so he gave Israel the law to help them see. not to make them perfect, but to make them holy.
in Luke 7, Jesus is invited to dine with Simon, a Pharisee. Simon is, no doubt, sizing up Jesus. All Israel was wondering who Jesus was. Here is this man speaking with authority, casting out demons healing the sick, raising the dead and raising hell. Thousands of people were following his every move even the religious leaders were curious of his identity. They were intrigued by John’s message and wondered, “Is Jesus the prophet” according to Moses’ prophecy?
Suddenly, a woman enters and kneels at the feet of Jesus. She begins washing them with her tears, and anointing them with kisses. Everyone knows the story, an act of love and repentance, void of words or written law. She comes with a fresh raw plea for mercy. Simon begins thinking to himself ,  “if this Jesus was the prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him.” Simon, a religious elite, knew the commandments, but failed to see the character traits and sins of the men whom God favored and gave the commandments to throughout Torah. Simon didn’t understand the love of God. The kind of love that touches lepers, hastens towards the  afflicted, sets free captives and turns the systems of men upside down. God, who saved Noah a righteous drunk, called out Abraham a fearful liar, had mercy on blind lot, blessed Jacob the deceiver, made an everlasting covenant with David, the adulterer and murderer. God’s faithful favorites were not void of moral dirt. They loved God because they saw his love for them despite their human stains.
Simon knows she is an immoral woman, but Jesus was not threatened by her presence, nor appalled by her sin. He did not withdraw from her touch. The act of love she showed him, triumphed over whatever sin she had committed. Simon being an expert in the law, knew the sentence for immorality. And certainly expected any “prophet” to apply the punishment set in the law, after all, wasn’t it the law of Moses which records God’s instructions to: destroy the heathen nations, stone a man violating the Sabbath, kill one cursing his parents, send an entire family to the depths of the earth for stealing. This was how Simon saw and understood God. In Simon’s eyes, it was the pious who gained God’s favor and pardon. Simon was doing everything in his power to keep on the straight and narrow.  Simon was hiding his talent in the sand because he saw God as an exacting God, rather than an extracting God.

There are two kinds of obedience that which comes from love and that which comes from fear, one results in life the other results in pride.

• God doesn’t search for beauty in us, he takes sin out of us.

Jesus once again pointed to the Torah. To something Simon overlooked, mercy …the love that provoked God to share the law with mankind, in order to accomplish his will, reveal our flaws, show us mercy and teach us holiness.

it is written to love the lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.The first commandment will always be, love the Lord your God.  Simon’s righteousness could never be righteous enough until he was able to recognize himself a sinner.  he could never learn to love God and fulfill the law, without hating himself first.

It’s not as easy to teach someone love. it’s not easy on the sinner nor the sacrifice. Once we understand God’s love to us through Christ we are eager to follow his rules because we know the extent he went to cleanse us from  breaking the rules.

• God is more interested in our devotion to him than our untainted obedience. He doesn’t want robots he wants children.

Jesus rebuked Simon for not loving him the way the sinner did. works that are void of love,  are powerless, limp and ineffective, white washed tombs.   This sinner at his feet, unashamed, uninhibited, full of kindness…she understood mercy because she was so desperate for  it.’ When Christ her savior touched her and said, your sins are forgiven. He looked at Simon, and said, “Simon those who have been forgiven much -love much.” How do you teach that? In this moment, the law abiding, exacting, religious pious may have been speechless, knowing that the first commandment was the one he had yet to accomplish.  and with all his righteousness he had no forgiveness.

suddenly the afflictions we suffer in life, the moments that bring us to our knees , the wounds that bleed most look a little like mercy.

2 comments

  1. So much meat here! You’ve taught me a lot, and if I kept re-reading, I would keep learning. Thanks so much for your beautiful post and truths you’ve shared. Loving reading your work, can’t wait to see more from you!

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