The Only Genuine Love: God's Love in YOU, Part 24

The Only Genuine Love: God's Love in YOU, Part 24

In this series, "God's Love in You", we've been learning what genuine love looks like, the kind of love that can only come from God, the kind of love that will grow in us as we stay connected to Jesus Christ, our "vine". This final part to this series focuses on the life of Jesus. He is, after all, our ultimate example of love!

We can all imagine helping peopel who are sick; but would we reach out to a madman who lives in a graveyard, one who is obviously controlled by evil spirits? And yes, there are still people like this in the world!

This is the kind of man Jesus reached out to. Most of the people who saw him ran away from him and he had no friends.

Enter, Jesus!

Now, to me, this is a very special miracle. It shows how much Jesus loves even the worst sinner. Jesus loved that madman!

To get an idea of just how far gone this man was, let's read the Biblical account recorded in the Gospel of Mark:

"They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him--he couldn't be chained, couldn't be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones.

"When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him--then bellowed in protest, 'What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don't give me a hard time!' (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, 'Out! Get out of the man!')

"Jesus asked him, 'Tell me your name.'

"He replied, 'My name is Mob. I'm a rioting mob.' Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country.

"A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, 'Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.' Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.

"Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man.

"Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. At first they were in awe--and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back." (Mark 5:1-17 MSG)

Reaching out in love, Jesus cast the demons out of this madman. But His love didn't stop here. When the demons asked Jesus to not banish them from the land, Jesus even complied and allowed them to go to the pigs!

The response of the people is interesting. At first they, "...were in awe." Then they became were upset because they didn't want to lose their pigs. This shows that they actually cared more for their pigs than for the poor madman. We can understand this, for their response is human. Why should we care? It is, after all, his chosen way of life, and the demons in him made him really strong, stronger than all the people together. Besides, demons can be contageous! This man could never be saved. Even Jesus' disciples showed no love towards him.

You have to ask yourself: who truly cared for this madman?

Notice also that we didn't see anyone helping Jesus with the madman. Not even His disciples. They were afraid. Yet Jesus wasn't afraid. his love overcame any fear. His only desire was to save that madman.

You have to ask yourself, who was the courageous one here?

What would have happened to this madman if Jesus had not come?

He would have been lost.

Only Jesus cared.

If Jesus will come to a madman and save him, He will do this for anyone. He is the One with genuine love. He loves us more than anyone on Earth ever could. More than our spouses, more than our parents, more than our closest friends. And He genuinely loves everyone. He doesn't do it for His own gain. He simply wants to save as many people in this world as possible.

Jesus never changes. He loves you. He offers His salvation. He died on a cross so that you could be saved, and He is still the One who stands at the door: "Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door. I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you." (Revelation 3:20-21 MSG)

The only One who loves genuinely is Jesus, but He calls us to love the same way. How will you respond to His call?

Rob Chaffart


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