Love Like Jesus - Part 6 - Relevance

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 through relevance.

It is interesting to me that Jesus approached each interaction uniquely. He did not have a cookie cutter approach, but interacted with them based on who they were and where they were at. 

In John 3, we find Jesus interacting with Nicodemus, a teacher within the Jewish faith. Jesus' discussion and interaction was about spiritual concepts. He spoke about being born again, about spiritual birth, about historic Jewish moments like the snake lifted on a pole in the desert, and about light and dark, truth and evil. These were all things that would have resonated with Nicodemus, as a scholar.

In the very next chapter, John 4, we find Jesus sitting at a well and engaging with a Samaritan women. And his coversation started by asking for water but quickly moved to the thirst in her soul. He didn't speak about theological concepts, but about her own life and needs.

After Jesus rose from the dead, in one encounter all the disciples except Thomas saw Jesus. Thomas struggled to believe and so at a later date when Jesus reappeared, he dealt directly with the elephant in the room. He doesn't tell Thomas off for his struggle, but invites him to experience what he needed to have confidence.

In our journey, we can have confidence that Jesus is still relevant and approaches us in a way that will best connect with us.

He asks us, in our world, to reflect that relevance too. He asks us to approach each person with love and appreciate that they are unique. Evangelism tools can be helpful, personality tests can help us understand better, good leadership and management skills have their place, but the most helpful is a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that helps us interact with people exactly where they are at.

As people who are called to love like Jesus, relevance has to be part of how we interact with people, and part of how we show his love.

 

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