Love Like Jesus - Part 4 - Vulnerability

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

John 13:34-35 - A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

If we are to love like Jesus, then we need to understand and accept how Christ has loved us first. And once we understand and accept that love, we can reflect that love in our relationships and world. I believe Jesus loved with vulnerability.

He made himself vulnerable.

By becoming a human he put himself into a position where he was vulnerable to temptation and sin. We see this vulnerability to temptation and sin when Jesus was in the wilderness after fasting 40 days, when Satan came to him and tested him. He had the temptation to fulfill his physical appetites in an illegitimate way. He had the temptation to reassure himself in regards to his position. He had the temptation to gain authority but do it in a way that dishonoured God. In the Garden of Gethsemane he had the temptation to walk away from his purpose.

On top of that, he made himself vulnerable to the disciples. He knew that for God's kingdom to come and to spread through the world, that he had to entrust it to others, who would go further afield than he was called to go in his earthly ministry. He made himself vulnerable when he asked them who they said he was. He made himself vulnerable in John 6:67 when he shared a difficult teaching that turned many of the crowd away and then turned to his disciples and asked if they would be leaving as well.  He poured all he had into these 12 men, knowing that they would have to continue the work when he ascended back to heaven, and one of them betrayed him.

Vulnerability is an attribute of love, because it is the opening of our heart and life to others.

I heard it described that if someone is stuck in a hole in the ground then pity is walking past and feeling sorry for the person in the pit. Sympathy is lying on the edge of the pit and commiserating with the person. Empathy is getting into the pit with the person. That is making yourself vulnerable, to feel what someone else is feeling.

Choose to let love be expressed in vulnerability. It is risky but rewarding.

 

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