“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4:20-21
Tax collectors. Prostitutes. Liars. Lepers. Murderers. Cheaters. Poor. All people Jesus stood up for and fought against their injustices.
He did this because he loved. It’s as simple as that. Jesus loved.
If there is one overall theme the New Testament drives home it is love. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Love your God. Love your spouse. Love your children. Love those who are less than you. Love the earth God gave us. Just love, and the rest will follow.
Jesus was no stranger to injustice. He flipped tables, sent reminders to those about to stone a woman while drawing in the sand, and healed lepers who were deemed by society as “unclean”. He stood up for those who, sometimes literally, could not stand up for themselves.
Jesus broke down all walls of division, because He did not come for some, but for ALL.
He didn’t just love the people like Him, but instead made sure that the people completely unlike Him knew they were worthy of God’s love and eternal life as well. He walked into places other people wouldn’t dare set foot just to show love. He knew of a love so powerful and life changing that He went against the cultural norm to show this to these people. He left no stone unturned.
People of authority were obviously not happy with how Jesus chose to reach people. They were afraid that His way of life, a way of truth, justice, and love for all, would impact a world not ready for that kind of change. Yet, here we are, thousands of years later, still talking about how much of an actual impact His love and acts of compassion have had on this world.
You cannot say you love God and not love His people. He made everyone in His likeness, so by saying you don’t love your neighbor is like saying you don’t love God’s handiwork. How can you love the beautiful sunrise, but not your neighbor?
Our brothers and sisters all over the country are hurting right now. While you might not know exactly what to do, imagine if years and generations from now our great-great-great-grandchildren can look back on this time and think, “Wow. They took a dark time and just loved like Jesus.”