Does God love in the same way that humans love?
That’s it, the end. Shortest blog yet. Only that question begs other questions …
… Does God the Father love us in the same way as He loves Jesus the Son?
If someone had asked me this question last week I would say no. Of course the love within the members of the Trinity is too good to be replicated on a purely human level. God loves us, but looking at Jesus baptism when God said, “this is my beloved son,” I begin to wonder…
If God does not love us in the same way that he loves Jesus then I can’t talk about God the Father’s love for us based on a passage expressing His love for Jesus. Stuart Townend’s worship song “How deep the Father’s love for us” tells of God’s great love for us, but does not get anywhere close to saying that God the Father loves us the same as he loves his Son Jesus, but there are clues in scripture.
In John 15:9, Jesus says “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
So Jesus loves us in the same way as the Father loves Jesus. But what does it have to do with the Father’s love for us?
Well just a chapter earlier, in John 14:9b-10a, Jesus says “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say ‘show us the Father?’ do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”
Jesus is pointing out that He is the perfect representation of the Father as they are one.
So… if Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father, and Jesus loves us as the Father loves Him, we can then conclude that the Father loves us in the same way as he loves Jesus.
When you think about the magnitude of this, it is truly a wonderful truth which I had never really considered before: God the Father loves me in the same way as He loves Jesus the Son who He has been in perfect loving relationship with from eternity passed to eternity future! What an amazing love!
One last thing the math question, if you don’t like maths skip this paragraph. Doing math’s on God never seems to work anyway… If God’s love for each of us is the same as his love for Jesus, then that’s over 7 billion times the love he has for Jesus, and that is just the people who are around now. The only conclusion I can make is that infinity is not a number, and you cannot divide infinity. Therefore the Father’s love is infinite.
The pandemic question
God works as a team. The biblical text shows that God works as a team, that is, God uses human beings and other beings to fulfil his purposes in the world. Even in these presidented times. Yes, precidented times, pandemics have come and gone, the last was Spanish flu in 1918 to 1920, before that bubonic and pneumonic plague wiped out one third of the population of Europe. Modern science has left people in the West insulated from the worst that the world used to thow at us and it is the affluent modern world which asks the question, “Why does a loving God let good people suffer?” The developing world, where bad stuff happens more often than here is where the growth in Christianity is to be found whilst it is in the relatively comfortable countried that there is decline. Belief in God does not rely on our comfort.
It was in troubled times in a troubled place, where Roman soldiers would line the roads between towns with the crosses of those being crucified that God became human. The Pax Romana was brutal and Jesus met that same fate, hung on a Roman cross. God identifies with our suffering.
The early Christian communities knew this, they developed communities where suffering could be spread. The apostle Paul collected money in Greece to be given to aleviate the suffering of Christians in Judea. It is a Christian response to say that we must prepare for disaster, for disaster will come. It is our job to share people’s loss, sharing their sorrow and silence, allowing them to grieve. To leave questions unanswered and build a community with the power to resist pain, hurt and grief which are real. That is showing God’s love to the world.
Adequate v acceptable
How do we respond to the infinite love of God? Anything I do will never be adequate how can it possibly be enough? No that is wrong, love makes allowances. When we respond with whatever we can it is acceptable to God. Remember that the Father God loves you just the same as he loves Jesus. Isn’t that amazing?