Weary at work.
Weary at home.
Jesus promises rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
He doesn’t say, “Chin up, you’ll get through this.” No, He bids us to come cuddle up with Him, lean against Him, and let Him give us rest.
When I find myself feeling heavy, burdened, or tired I find it helpful to be reminded of the love of Jesus.
This week I want to explore the examples I used in “A Letter to the Lost” and talk about His love for the least.
Love for Children
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” Mark 10:13-16
Great people aren’t supposed to associate with children. They’re often too busy doing their great things or seen as being too important to waste their talents on children. But not Jesus. The disciples tried to get them to go away because they thought Jesus was too good for children, too great to waste His time with them.
And He was angry with them. Upset they didn’t realize they were pushing away the very people who are the most important in His Kingdom – those who trust, who know they don’t have anything to recommend them to a great God, who lead with their hearts, and follow those they trust.
Well, on a good day anyway.
Jesus wants us to see Him and see the world as children do – with eyes of wonder, beholding new things. And He wants us to walk with Him like a child does with their Daddy – hand in hand, understanding Daddy knows the way.
Love for the Desperate
“And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.” Matthew 9:20-22
This woman had been suffering for twelve years! She had been an outcast, unclean for over a decade! She has spent all her money, exhausted all her resources trying to get well. And they all failed. Nothing had cured her. She had nothing left.
Except Jesus. She didn’t want to be a burden, didn’t want to call attention to herself. But she knew the Son of God was walking by and that there was enough power contained in just the hem of His robe to heal her. She wasn’t asking much, but for her it was everything.
And He healed her because of her faith. Jesus looked down at this desperate woman, the one with nothing left, and He loved her.
Love for the Broken
“And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment…Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”’ Luke 7:37-38,44-48
I’m sure the Pharisee’s skin wrinkled and their noses turned up when this woman entered the home and fell at Jesus’ feet. They thought, “Who does she think she is, interrupting our dinner with her hysterics?” Then they turned to look at Jesus, expecting Him to throw her out. Instead they received a rebuke from Him about their hospitality.
This woman knew she needed help. She knew she was broken and couldn’t fix herself. So she found the Savior and gave Him everything she had. And she was met with love and forgiveness.
Love for the Guilty
“The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”’ John 8:3-11
Jesus had every right to condemn the adulteress to death. It was the Law, after all. But Jesus was always surprising people. And instead of carrying out the Law on her, He turned it on the accusers. Because Jesus came for sinners. He came to save us from all the things we’ve done. If we’re honest, we know we all deserve death. And while we love to point out the faults in others, we don’t like it so much when God points out our own sin.
Jesus meets those who are guilty with Grace. He chose death so we could have life.
Love for Outsiders
Jesus met with the Samaritan woman at the well. She was there mid-day, apart from all the other women in the town. By Jesus’ conversation with her, we know she was caught in a pattern of sin. The story isn’t clear about why she’d had so many husbands, but it is clear that the man she was currently living with was not her husband.
He saw her, inside and out. And she knew He wasn’t just an ordinary man.
Her testimony of the love of Jesus (and yes, it’s love when Jesus reveals your sin and your need for a Savior) brought many other people in the town to Christ. Her testimony of love brought others to Jesus.
The full story is found in John 4:1-42.
“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.” John 4:28-30
Love for Those with Nothing to Offer
Two criminals were hanging next to Jesus when He was crucified. One mocked Him while the other chose to believe in the Savior of the World:
“ But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”’ Luke 23:40-43
The criminal hanging on the cross was hours away from death. There was no time for him to do good works. No time for him to prove his devotion. There was only time for him to say yes to the saving grace of Jesus.
He loves you as you are, where you are right now. Even if you should be so much farther along on your journey. Even if you still struggle with sin. Even if you still stumble.
Run, walk, crawl if you have to toward Jesus. And if you don’t have the strength to say His name, reach out for Him, touch the edge of His garment. He will see you, right there, on the ground, and He will pick you up.
Jesus isn’t waiting for some better version of you, He’s just waiting for you.
Make a way to find Him every day. Even if it’s climbing a tree so you can see above the ground (Luke 19-1-10), even if you have to cut a hole in the roof to get to Him (Mark 2:1-12). Find Him. He can be found (Rev 3:20).