Jesus in the Old Testament - Day 7
God is love
It is written on many pulpits in churches: God is love. But what does love look like? Jesus Christ demonstrated love practically. He does not condemn the woman caught in adultery. Jesus allows an unclean woman to touch him. He draws children closer and heals people so that they can participate in the temple service again. Jesus showed that God’s love makes it possible for people, who were excluded by some laws, to be able to experience God’s compassion with people again.
There is a remarkable similarity with Jesus’ actions and Joshua in the Old Testament. Although the command was to destroy the city and everything in it, Joshua spared the lives of the prostitute Rahab and everyone in her house. The same also happens with the Gibeonites. Although they were dishonest, Joshua not only spared their lives, but he even gave them the opportunity to serve in the temple. In both cases, Joshua’s actions are followed by great victories. This clearly conveys the message that God’s blessing is not only intended for those who fulfil the prescriptions of the law. God’s love makes room for our human weaknesses and shortcomings.
The implication is that the great commandment of love will also determine our actions towards other people. This means that we will have compassion for people’s need. Love is to do something. It is to provide people with food, clothing and housing, and make time for people who are sick, broken and lonely. Serving God is not just about following a list of instructions. We serve God by caring for other people. We demonstrate God’s love by being kind and patient.
Jesus came to teach us to look differently at people and their circumstances. We cannot approach people in a harsh way, because God is not like that. We must realise that other people see and experience something of God in us. Other people’s image of God is shaped by the image of God that you and I portray.