There are so many days I realize I could love better. If you are like me, you work hard to love the people in your life – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even someone you meet as you run errands. But we know deep down we need to grow in love – for God and for one another. We are aware that He loves perfectly; we can love better.
Jesus Was Really Young!
I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ age when He completed His life on earth. He died at only 33! That’s just not very old! How old are you? Stop and compare your age with His age when His life on earth was over.
Jesus was only here for a short time as a human. Sometimes I wonder how much time I will be given on this earth. Do you ever wonder this?
At 33, I was still figuring out who I am. I discovered I didn’t understand a lot about life. I’m older now with different perspectives and conclusions, yet there is still so much I don’t know. Life is filled with things that can’t be explained or neatly packaged. I think I’m making less mistakes than when I was 33. But that’s just it – I still make mistakes! I still need to love better. What about you?
What Was Your Youth Like?
When I think back over my youth, I’m aware how lacking I was in wisdom and understanding. I could have made better choices in some situations. And I certainly didn’t know myself or the immense scope of how relationships, communication, and the world works. As I grew up, I became increasingly aware of how broken this world is – and that I’m imperfect and need a Savior. I need intervention, guidance, and new life each day. In my youth as I explored these things, it struck me how little I knew and understood.
Jesus always understood the deep, hidden things of God when He lived on this earth. As a child, He possessed wisdom and understanding. He made perfect choices. And He was absolutely aware of every small system inside the immense scope of the universe. Even as a child, Jesus was still the Creator of it all! Incredible to ponder, don’t you think? “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Lk. 2:52) He knew Himself inside-out and was comfortable in His own skin. Jesus lived with unmatched excellence, perfect love, and no sin. To this day, He still loves perfectly! (And I can love better. So can you.)
So, what was your youth like? Have you come to similar critical realizations about yourself and about Jesus? How well do you know yourself? Are you comfortable in your own skin? How well do you love? How freely do you accept Jesus’ love for you?
He Loves Perfectly. He IS The Best
Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God. He lived an extremely effective life. There is no argument Jesus lived the most impressive, influential, effective, and loving life! He is a model for all of us. And He started when He was very young. Even at a youthful age, Jesus handled Himself with exceeding wisdom. Yes, Jesus is the best!
The Bible says He learned obedience, skill, and favor with God and man – in a human body. He had everyday normal experiences like you and me. His earthly father, Joseph, taught Him a trade – carpentry. Jesus had to practice His strokes to get good at it. It wasn’t automatic. He learned how to communicate and interact. He practiced basic, human life skills to get from one day to the next. But love? Did He learn how to love?
My guess is Jesus learned about parental love as a child, about sexual love as a teen, about esteem and respect as a young man. However, He did all that learning without sin. The love of God filled Him, oozing from every pore. God’s love channeled His every thought, word, and deed. Scripture says, “The Son is . . . the exact representation of [God].” (Heb. 1:3) Yes, Jesus is the best! He loves perfectly; we can love better.
Let’s Imagine Examples How He Loves Perfectly
Scripture is filled with examples and proofs that God loves perfectly. Still, let’s engage our imagination about practical examples of how the Lord might have behaved in love.
He Loves Perfectly As A Child
- Perhaps on occasion, His mom, Mary – typical human parent – punished Jesus out of fatigue and stress. Jesus responded perfectly. He didn’t absorb the damage of a parent’s insecurities because He lived inside God’s love from infancy on.
- Maybe His kid brother slugged him over a “brotherly issue.” Jesus didn’t retaliate. He responded with kindness. He solved the problem because pure love was inside His kid-heart.
- When community folks pointed at Him as He walked through the market, whispering behind His back – “He’s the bastard child Joseph and Mary had,” Jesus didn’t implode OR explode. His Heavenly Father’s love stabilized Him. Being falsely judged didn’t throw His stride off.
- At age 12, Jesus visited the temple with his parents. He courageously, respectfully, and kindly discussed complicated religious topics with aged seasoned teachers. No pride. Just love. He knew He was those teachers’ Creator.
He Loves Perfectly As A Young Adult
(Again, we are using our imagination!)
- Tradition holds that Joseph died while Jesus was younger. Jesus likely spent some youthful adult years supporting His mother and younger siblings with the trade Joseph taught Him. We don’t know, and Scripture only hints. Jesus proved He loved His family. Perhaps He didn’t start His public ministry until He was 30 because He was busy helping His mom care for the younger children, providing a living for the family, prepping Mary for retirement years. Remember: in that culture, women had little provision without someone intervening. Jesus knew that.
He Loves Perfectly As A Man
- When Jesus started His ministry at 30, He had no fear of being incompetent, of failing, or of what others might conclude about His fledgling launch. He knew His purpose was to model, teach, and personally live in God’s powerful love.
- When He taught with authority, other insecure, proud, jealous teachers tried to spar with Him and trick Him. He had a clever, kind response each time. His character was never compromised. God’s love and truth guided His answers.
He Loves Perfectly As A Savior
- Jesus carried the cross with love. His every heart beat pounded out God’s love as He laid on the wooden crossbeams, and spikes were pounded into His flesh. Perfect love dripped from the cross on the ground. No hate – or anger – or sin. Just love.
Learn From The Best
Have you put yourself in the place to learn from the best? You’ve been invited! Are you watching Jesus’ life carefully as you live your own life? Are you being still in your spirit so you can hear Christ’s Holy Spirit give you direction and affirmation? Jesus put skin on God’s invitation and made the message exceptionally clear – “God loves perfectly.”
As a human, Jesus overcame everything that holds a person back and pulls a person down. He provided an example of how to walk with God each day. Jesus used His human will perfectly and connected humanity with God’s original design again. Jesus finished the work He was sent to earth to accomplish by paying the price for all sins and brokenness. From the cross, He forgave. He loves perfectly; we can love better.
Since we have such a great example presented, “. . . let us run with perseverance the race (God has) marked out for us.” (Heb. 12:1)
Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (Jn. 13:15) We are to follow Jesus’ example in every detail. You can use the will God gave you to please God. Why not acknowledge you are made in God’s image and live in the original design? You can.
Jesus said no person is greater than “the master.” Jesus is the Master. (Jn. 13:16) And Jesus is the best!
The application questions are tucked into the entire article. I will pull them and compile a list for you here.
- What was your youth like?
- Have you come to similar critical realizations about yourself and about Jesus?
- How well do you know yourself?
- Are you comfortable in your own skin?
- How well do you love?
- How freely do you accept Jesus’ love for you?
- Have you put yourself in the place to learn from the best? You’ve been invited!
- Are you watching Jesus’ life carefully as you live your own life?
- Are you quiet enough to hear Christ’s Holy Spirit give you direction and affirmation?
- Why not acknowledge you are made in God’s image and choose to live in the original design?
Here are additional articles that contain practical ways to Love Well.
Are you ready to learn from the Best? He loves perfectly; we can love better.