JESUS REVEALS THE HEART OF GOD
- God sent his Son because he loved the world so much
- Jesus treated people with love and compassion
- Jesus’ death for us revealed the greatness of God’s love
“No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (John 1:18)
Our guilt and shame and our criticism of ourselves cause us to see God as the stern judge. But he is more than judge. He is the solution. The Bible says, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” That is the heart of God.
Jesus illustrated that heart for people when he told a parable of a shepherd who left his 99 sheep who were safe and risked his life to save the one who had strayed away into danger. He pictured his heavenly Father as the father who welcomed back his wayward son with open arms and with a celebration of rejoicing.
But Jesus didn’t just talk about that love. The way he treated people helped them understand God. Not only did his miracles of healing show the compassion of God, he often went against culture to show how to value others. He ate and drank with those that the religious leaders avoided or labeled sinners. He touched and healed lepers whom others feared. One day he sat next to a Samaritan woman at a well to tell her about the living water of life. He doing so he was breaking the customs of the Jews that taught people to avoid foreigners and not talk to a woman in private conversation.
Another time the religious leaders were ready to stone to death a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. Jesus stopped them and said, “whoever is without sin, let him throw the first stone.” One by one they dropped the stones and walked away. They knew that they also had their sinful faults. Jesus then told the woman, “If they don’t convict you, neither do I. But go and sin no more.” Jesus interacted with all sorts of people so that he could lead them to see that he is the true light of life that dispels the darkness, the water that quenches the spiritual thirst.
Soon the people would see how deep the heart of God is towards them. At the cross the God of Justice would place on Jesus the punishment demanded for our sins. He would put Jesus to die on the cross to become the sacrifice that frees us. The Bible says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”