Stand Firm/Love Well | What the World Needs to See | Love for Unbelievers
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack…” Mark 10:21
The guy didn’t get it. He’d heard the sermons, seen the miracles, felt a stirring in his heart, and wanted what this Teacher was offering. But he was clueless and Jesus knew that. This guy was uber rich, a member of Who’s Who, and a generally nice guy. But he would not be willing to do what Jesus asked; he only considered following Jesus because it looked like a clearance sale, a too-good-to-be-true retirement package he should add to his portfolio. Jesus knew that too. But instead of growing frustrated with the guy, telling him off, or trying to scare him into heaven, Jesus loved him—and let him walk away.
What if this guy had encountered one of us in 2019? Imagine the guy entering a Christian chat room or commenting on a Youtube sermon asking, “How can I get eternal life?” Would he have experienced the same kind of love Jesus had for him? The responses would have been everything from “You’re going to hell, Buddy! Turn or burn!” to “God just wants you to believe in yourself. You’re a great guy and God is proud of you.” Neither of those is loving. One shows active contempt for his soul, the other is passive, but neither has the guy’s best interest at heart. Jesus felt true compassion for this man, but He did not compromise His message. Love did not run after the guy or water down the truth. Love also did not shout ultimatums or condemn him. It was love that motivated Jesus to give this guy the straight-up truth, and it was not Jesus who walked away.
Final Thought: How well are you communicating love to unbelievers who don’t get it?
Prayer: Father, how do unbelievers perceive me? When I let people know I’m a Christian, or when I share the gospel with them, do they know I love them? Show me how to love people who don’t get it without watering down your truth. Amen.