I’ve read a lot of articles and watched videos by apologists and preachers trying to explain to us why Jesus matters. It usually takes on the form of logical arguments, historical proofs, and theological answers to questions that, frankly, many people aren’t asking. What are people looking for? What I believe is we’re all looking for authentic love. We look for it in our relationships, we sing about it, and lament over losing it. This is because we’re wired for love. When we experience it for real, it resonates deeply in our souls. And we find it profoundly in Jesus Christ.
I personally did not decide to follow Jesus because of clever theological arguments…did you? But threats of punishment or hell didn’t change my life forever either, which I don’t think are very compelling reasons to follow someone.
I decided to follow Jesus because I encountered a love and kindness I never even imagined possible. I can’t fully explain what I experienced because it happened to my soul. All I can tell you is every cell in my being came alive on that day when I accepted His invitation.
I talk a lot about love on this blog, and there’s only one reason for that. There’s nothing more important. Some well-meaning Christians will respond to this by telling me that God is so much more than just love. Well, they’re wrong. Very seriously wrong, actually.
Of course, you can describe God theologically in other ways, just like you can say I have blue eyes and graying hair and I’m six feet tall. But that doesn’t really describe me. Theological attributes don’t describe how we encounter Jesus either. And they won’t tell us what’s the most important thing we’re to be learning about this life. For, as Paul told us, if we haven’t learned how to love, we’ve learned nothing.
If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.
3 And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value. (1 Cor.13:1-3 TPT*)
This passage is so familiar we risk completely missing what’s being said to us, for all the things we think are so important to God are turned on their head here! He’s telling us that love is all that matters. And, happily, that’s exactly what we’re all looking for, even if we don’t see it yet.
As David learned the hard way, God doesn’t want our sacrifices, He wants our heart (Psalm 51:16-17).
Think about it. Even God saved us, not for appeasement, but because He so loved us… (John 3:16-17).
On that note, while we’re fortified in our Covid bunkers, there’s a way to experience His love that will bless you immensely more than binging on Netflix or your favorite cat videos.
I’ve talked about this unique TV series already, but I want to go a little deeper into this here. It’s on YouTube and it’s called “The Chosen.” If you haven’t seen it already, you definitely should. Here’s the official description:
“The Chosen is the first-ever-multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus. Created outside of the Hollywood system, The Chosen allows us to see Him through the eyes of those who knew him. No matter where you are at in your journey with Jesus Christ, this TV show is for you.”
Here’s a teaser….
This isn’t some boring, poorly made religious depiction of Jesus like so many biblically-based offerings by Christian movie-makers in the past. And it doesn’t just quote Jesus from the Bible, it goes much deeper. We see Jesus deeply connecting with people, showing them great love and kindness, and perfectly illustrating why He’s so compelling and has transformed so many lives over the centuries.
My wife and I watched this series all last week (We watched the “The Chosen Global Watch Party” playlist that includes interviews and behind the scenes clips).
This series moved us to tears many times, but more than that, it beautifully depicted Jesus in the way I’ve personally encountered Him over these last 42 years. Not physical encounters with the man like in the movie, but in the deepest part my soul. It’s how I’ve experienced His nature toward me and how He has changed my heart toward others. How I continue to be transformed by His love.
Like Jesus Himself, this unique series speaks to everyone, including those with disabilities (depicting Matthew with Asperger’s Syndrome)…all ages and even children (especially episode 3!)
I’m genuinely blown away by how this series answers the question, “What difference can Jesus make in my life?” so beautifully.
As Mary Magdalene told the bewildered Nicodemus, “I was one way, and now I am completely different…”
What perfect timing for a series like this to come out when the whole world is locked in their houses! The love and kindness they will see in Jesus is exactly what the world needs now.
Do your soul a favor this week….binge on Jesus….immerse yourself in His love and life. Watch an episode, or two, every night…ponder it, be moved by the stories, see how He speaks to your heart. And spread the word!