During our summer series we have been exploring the emotions of Jesus. This Sunday we will be looking at Jesus’ emotion of love. In many respects Jesus having the emotional experience of love may seem like a no-brainer. But could Jesus’ emotion of love be particular to a person? Does the emotion of love have more than one facet?
Below are 3 scripture lessons. Consider each of them and the questions that follow.
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.” ’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
This man coming to Jesus is no doubt sincere. Yet Jesus’ answer, out of his love for him, was incredibly difficult to hear.
Qs. Has there ever been a time in your life where what was best for you was also difficult? What might that tell us about the character of Jesus’ love?
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you loveis ill.’ [B1] But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
In this scripture lesson we have the names of 3 people that Jesus loves.
Qs. Can you imagine Jesus saying your first name affectionately? Can you imagine Jesus coming over to your house? What kinds of things would you talk about?
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him.
Jesus’ group of disciples is a diverse bunch. Judas’ is beginning to distance himself from Jesus. John is drawing close.
Qs. In your experience is Jesus someone you can draw close to? Do you prefer to keep Jesus at a safe distance?