By Mike Nappa, Crosswalk.com
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6)
Do you sometimes wonder why Jesus loves you?
I mean, of course, we all know that God does love us because—insert classic children’s melody here!—“the Bible tells me so-oo.” (See John 3:16 and Romans 5:5 if you need proof.) And we know that God’s love for us is great—see Romans 8:38-39 for a beautiful reminder of that. But seriously, don’t you sometimes feel like King David when he wrote the lyrics of Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT)?
“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?”
God Loves Me
We certainly don’t deserve God’s love, and He’s not obligated to love either. In fact, some people believe God doesn’t actually love us. They think instead that either He doesn’t exist or He is/was a Being who created everything and set it all in motion—then decided to disengage and maintain distance from us. To them, God (if He exists) is like some kind of cosmic Watcher fascinated by the soap opera events of planet earth, but certainly not a personal deity who’d bother to love the ants He created. Obviously I think that perspective is fatally flawed, but still, I sometimes wonder …
Why does Jesus love you and me?
“Love … rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
For me, that offers at least a plausible explanation for the impossible love God relentlessly showers on us. And it’s why I think Jesus loves me, and you, and all those other countless, nameless people out there: Because Christ alone knows the full truth about who He is and what He created—the truth about who we are, why we are, and what He is doing in us.
Listen to just a few of the sound bites Scripture has shared with us in that regard (all NLT):
- But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
- And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).
- For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:10).
- … You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession … (1 Peter 2:9).
- And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).
See, Christ’s love for you has very little to do with you and everything to do with Him. His is not simply some cosmic feeling of kindness, but an eternal truth about who He is and who you are as you are His. Likewise, God’s eternal truth about you is not simply an emotionless fact but is an eternal passion based on who He is and what He’s doing with you as His.
Put simply, God loves because He alone knows — and rejoices in — the full truth about Himself and what He’s doing in us. He loves us not because he must choose to do so or because he feels obligated to constantly manufacture an emotion akin to compassion. He loves us because that’s the truth of who He is — our joyful, eternal truth.
At least that’s my impression. What do you think?
Mike Nappa is a big ol’ Bible Study Nerd, and an ongoing Bible commentary and theology writer for Christianity.com. He’s also a bestselling and award-winning Christian author with more than a million copies of his books sold worldwide. Learn more about Mikey at Nappaland.com and MikeNappa.com.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Kilarov Zaneit