“…Christ’s love compels us…”
2 Corinthians 5:14
Recently I was reading a wonderful devotional book early in the morning. The author had chosen our text for today as a starting point for his meditation. All that he wrote was wonderful and inspiring. What I noticed was that he dwelt on the idea that the verse was referring to our love for Jesus instead of His for us. I disagreed with the writer at that point.
So I checked out the verse in my Greek New Testament and sure enough what Paul is talking about is Jesus’ love for us and not ours for Him.
Is such a point relevant to our walk in this life? I believe it is profoundly significant. Many people in life have been emotionally damaged on the basis that the one who should love them more than anyone else stops loving them. A husband who leaves his wife for another woman has hurt the abandoned wife more than he will ever know. His love for her was what gave her life joy and confidence.
On the other hand, when a man goes on loving his wife even when she has many illnesses and cannot live a normal life, that husband has caused the relationship to be something especially beautiful. In this case the wife may be very confident and content in spite of her difficulties. She will be motivated to do all she can to make the marriage good.
Our verse today causes us to reflect on just how amazing Jesus’ love is for His people. I never tire of describing Jesus as He is seen in the Gospels and the rest of the Bible. His personality is remarkable. For example He shows an enormous capacity to absorb rejection and failure by us.
The night of the betrayal by Judas, for example, is a significant display of His tenacious love. The disciples pledged their loyalty to Him to the death. But when push came to shove in Gethsemane we read that all forsook Him and fled. So much for their pledge of loyalty to Him! Yet He loved them.
Then, when Jesus was so sorrowful and in an agony in Gethsemane just before His arrest, He asked the disciples to watch and pray. Three times they failed and slept instead. Jesus did not make many requests of the disciples so you would think they might be especially careful when He asked for prayer that night. They knew He was distressed and they did not come through for Him. Yet He loved them!
Do you not have an overwhelming sense of Christ’s love for you? It does not matter how you have fallen and failed Jesus. His love remains upon you if you are one of His children. Be confident that His love is ever with you if you have put your faith in Him. Then go and spend your life in devoted, faithful service to Him.
I change—He changes not; The Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place; His truth, not mine, the tie.
– Horatius Bonar