Loving the Unlovable

In The Last Word, Pastor Josh Schiel of Life Center, Spokane, preached on the meaning of Jesus’ last words, as seen in John 13: 31- 14:14. He outlined four things that Jesus especially wanted His disciples to remember, namely:
1. Know what to do (by following what Jesus taught).
2. Know where Jesus was going (to heaven, to prepare a place for them).
3. Know the way there (through Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life).
4. Remember, the number’s on the fridge (Josh used the metaphor of parents leaving their children to watch the house while they were gone, and how the phone number was on the fridge if they needed anything. He relates Jesus’ availability to us in the same way).
After listening to The Last Word, I was struck by how amazingly simple Jesus’ overall message was. Through all that He said, the thing that shone through all of it was love. And not just ‘fluffy’ love, but radical love. Jesus didn’t want us to love like other people did. He wanted us to love like He did. Like God Himself.
Some people who call themselves Christians today don’t follow this standard of love. They find those who are without the light, and attack them for their darkness. They scream hellfire to the lost, voicing their anger but helping no one. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus intended. During His lifetime, He probably spent more time with the underdogs of society than He did with His own disciples. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Matthew 9:12)
We as Christians today can sometimes fall into the trap of only ministering to those who appeal to us. We smile and witness with glowing words to those who accept us, but when someone comes along who isn’t so pretty, who’s broken and human and maybe more than a little messed up, we shy away.
We stay with people who are clean and open and comfortable, and we don’t take risks or chances. And we are secure, but we are wilting. In reality, situations like this, people that aren’t safety-certified, are the true test of our faith. Jesus had a heart for sinners, and as Christians, we should, too.
Millions walk the earth without the knowledge that there is a God who gave up His own life to save them. They don’t know the miracle of the love He gave, and this is why Jesus told us to love one another as He did.
As Christians, we should be marked not by closed hearts and distant minds, but by love – a real, vibrant, overflowing love that spends itself recklessly and never runs out. A faith that faces every storm without a hint of trembling. A hope grounded on the only source of truth in the universe, one that will never waver.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Elizabeth Trout is fifteen years old, homeschooled, and lives in Medical Lake, WA. She is head-over-heels in love with Jesus and hopes to use her talents in the arts to bring Him glory. She will also not shut up about heaven. If you meet her, be warned.