John was dear to Christ. In fact, he was called the disciple whom Jesus loved. And it is the book of John that brought my mother to faith in Jesus Christ. What was it about this particular Bible book that made such an impression on her? It was love. My mother was astounded by the love Jesus showed the unlovable, the sinners, the outcasts, the societal rejects. She would often bring up the fact that Jesus loved women in our discussions about one thing or another. Mom would drop this weighty pronouncement frequently. I didn’t quite understand why this piece of information was so important at the time. Now, I get it. My thoughts and opinions have been minimized, dismissed, and diminished because I am a woman. I have experienced misogyny and harassment as a woman. Yet, the book of John shows Jesus’ love for women. And John, because he was loved by Jesus, understood why love is vital for faith.
My daughter and I have lots of dinner discussions starting during prep and often not ending until after all the food is gone, the leftovers have been put away, and the dishes are finished being washed. The other evening we were talking about something relating to Christianity, and my daughter stopped what she was doing and asked, “I wonder how much of what is considered ‘Christian’ behavior today would be thought of as blasphemous or antithetical to Christ’s teaching.” I can’t remember exactly what prompted the comment, but it had to do with some real vile, hateful rhetoric or sentiment that was being passed off as “Christian.”
Her comment was jarring but understandable. I had many times thought about the kindness we are to show others in connection to cruelty I’d seen. I’ve also heard people insist that the law prevented them from being merciful or kind to a fellow sinner. It has always made me think about what Jesus did in times when He encountered people who, according to the law should have been shunned or punished. When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, He showed kindness and grace along with His admonition to “sin no more.” Above all – Jesus showed love.
Salmon Of Knowledge Day 13 Reading
1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.