For the scripture lesson today, Pastor Doug chose Luke 5, with particular emphasis on the first eleven verses, in which Jesus, teaching the people along the shore of Gennesaret, gets into Peter's boat and asks him to push off from shore. He then sits in the boat, continuing his teaching.
Who taught you to tie your shoes? The question is asked to illustrate the point that many things we learn are best mastered when we are shown how to do them. To the point: How do we learn to love unconditionally? We must be shown. Someone must model unconditional love for us. When we love unconditionally is when we are most like Jesus.
A Better Way to Love
- Better love thinks about others more than self.
- Better love makes the first move.
- Better love takes risks. (v.13, Jesus reaches out and touches the leper.)
- Better love goes the last 10%. (v. 20, Jesus says, "Your sins are forgiven. The leper had asked for physical healing. Jesus went beyond this and healed him spiritually.) To go that extra 10% may require saying a truth the recipient may not like. On the positive side, it may entail showing appreciation. Finish what you start.
When Jesus asks Peter to launch out into the deep, in spite of failure to catch overnight, in spite of having been up all night, Peter says, "Because you say." Then when the amazing catch is brought in, Peter bows at Jesus's knee and says, "Hangout somewhere else. We are not on the same wavelength." And Jesus says, "Follow me and you will catch men." The rest, as we say, is history.
No one becomes a better lover by accident. We must be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
As one young child reportedly said, "If you want to love better, start with someone you hate."
In scripture we find the commandment, "Love your enemies." It is when we love our enemies that we are most like Christ.
Love challenge for this week: For each decision you make at home, set aside your own desires and decide in light of what is best for your spouse and fits his/her desires most closely.
Image: Rembrandt van Rijn c. 1655, The Louvre