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Blog: Lee Younger

What is Love? - Jesus-y

CCC Oak Ridge

In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul says that there is only one stat that ultimately matters in your walk with God - one thing that that truly tells the world who you are, and that is your love (or lack thereof). The real question is, how do I grow in love? What does love look like? What does love do, and what does it not do? What is love?

Love Is Jesus-y

When I picture Paul writing 1 Corinthians 13 and describing love, I picture him writing down that first word, “Love is patient” and then struggling to come up with the next thing to say... “Okay, love is patient... it’s... it’s... hmm... how should I say this? Love is patient, it’s... it’s...”

Now, I don’t know if I’m right about that, but the reason I always picture it that way is because of the second word Paul used to describe love. And look, It’s not that I think he was struggling because he didn’t know how to describe love, but because his mind was literally exploding with so many things and so many ways and words to describe love! There was so much he wanted to include and the thing that came into his mind next was a word that is completely and totally amazing.

“Love is kind.”

That word that we have translated ‘kind’ is a Greek word that is almost exactly like the Greek word, ‘Christ.’ In fact, (and don’t miss this) most guys who study the Bible and the Greek language feel that this is a word that was invented because of Jesus and His life. Here’s what I mean... When people watched Jesus live His life, He loved in a way that no one ever had. He loved outcasts, strangers, foreigners, little kids, enemies of the state and even His own betrayers! Jesus was kind to people when He was exhausted and overwhelmed. He was kind when everyone else wanted to turn folks away and be mean. He was tender to the broken and gentle with those wearied by their own sin. He was willing to be a servant when He had the right to be the boss. There was literally never anyone like Jesus, ever. No one loved like He did. No one was kind like Him. He was so loving and so kind, that it seems like folks literally started using a new word to describe it.

That is the word Paul uses to say that love is kind. It’s a word that looks and sounds almost exactly like the word ‘Christ.’ It’s like Paul is saying, “Love is patient... it’s... it’s... how should I say this? Umm, love is patient, and... well, it’s just all Jesus-y. That’s it! Love is Jesus-y. Love acts like Jesus did.”

Here’s the big question though: If love means to act like Jesus did, then how in the world am I supposed to pull that off?! I mean, Jesus was kind like that because, well, He’s Jesus... and I’m not! -- Well, that is an awesome question. I guess the thing we need to figure out is this: How did Jesus love the way He did?

One of the most amazing examples of the kindness of Jesus was on His last night before the cross when He washed His disciples’ feet. Washing feet was slave labor, literally. Jesus was and is Almighty God and the King of the universe. He didn’t have to wash the nasty feet of those guys who were arguing about who was the best and would soon betray Him, but He did it anyway. He got down on the level of a slave and served them... Wow. And here’s the really cool thing: Right before He did that, John says this about Jesus: “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.”

You see that? Jesus knew two things: He knew who He was and He knew where He was going. The same is true for you, right now. You know you are a child of God. You know you have been forgiven an eternal debt of wrong. You know God adores you right now as you are and always will. You know that as soon as this life ends, you’re going to heaven forever to be with the God who loves you. If you know who you are and where you’re going, you can love like Jesus loved. If you know who you are and where you’re going, you can be Jesus-y. There are people in your life who are almost impossible to love, but they are longing for someone to love them. In the deepest part of their heart, they’re wondering if anyone could - or would be like Jesus to them. That person is you.