“Jesus loved with a limitless love. He loved everyone, even — perhaps especially — those who were hard to love. His love was conveyed through more than words. He tangibly expressed his love by meeting people at their point of deepest need.”- Kyle Idleman
“When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ “- Matthew 8:1-2 (NIV)
In Chapter 9 (“One Expression At a Time”) of One At a Time, Kyle Idleman notes that loving people sounds incredible. But one issue arises. Some of the people we need to love we find incredibly difficult to love. Now, common sense might argue that some people indeed are just too hard to love. Yet, one look at the life of Jesus provides a different answer. The only obvious answer! No one is too hard to love.
Above all, Pastor Idleman underscores, we find a most poignant example of Jesus offering compassion in Matthew 8. Because, in the first century, leprosy equaled a death sentence. Back then, people viewed leprosy as a curse from God and as very contagious. As a result, when someone contracted leprosy, they immediately became a social and spiritual outcast. Hence, lepers never approached people. Except for the one leper who walked right up to Jesus.
In addition, no precedent existed for a leper approaching a rabbi. And if a leper dared, he/she risked violence as well as almost certain humiliation.
However, Kyle states, this leper believed in Jesus’s goodness. Enough to approach Him, but not with enough confidence that Jesus would heal him. Thus, the leper knew Jesus was able to heal him. He simply wasn’t sure Jesus was willing. Because, in the past, people made it perfectly clear to that leper that they found him hard to love. Yet, as Kyle explains in the next blog, there’s incredible power in a loving touch.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you in meeting people at their point of deepest need? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “What his heart felt, his hand touched”