I’ve been getting wrecked on the kindness of Jesus lately.
No really, He’s abnormally kind.
Today I was asked to preach a two minute sermon on the love of Jesus, and I was an absolute mess! I remembered Jesus’s love by remembering the opposite; when I didn’t know the true love of Jesus. I saw myself as unworthy and unlovable. Jesus reminded me that He came to encounter the unlovable! Now that I’ve seen the darkness of believing the lie that you’re unlovable, I’ve gotten to come to a new revelation of his love for me. He touched people who nobody dared to even look at. He saw the dirty, sick, and unloved people and chose to meet them there. He showed them love even though they were “undeserving,” and he does the same for us every day!
Back in Jesus’s day, lepers were the definition of a social outcast. Leprosy, if you didn’t know, is extremely contagious. So, for that reason, lepers were essentially quarantined and would remain untouched and unloved by the world; until Jesus came. He grabbed lepers by the hand, defied all social norms and healed them by his simple loving touch! If Jesus could truly love the definition of unlovable, don’t you understand how great his love for you is as well?
Another place that Jesus has been encountering me is at the well. That’s right. We all know the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and how Jesus goes out of his way to encounter her. It always wrecks me, of course. Jesus chose once again to defy the societal norms of his day and talk to a Samaritan woman (which Jews weren’t supposed to do) and practically love her in that moment.
But lately, Jesus has been challenging me to put myself at the well.
Let me tell you, that’s a challenge.
I’m forced to recognize myself as the outcast and unwanted in this situation (and I think at some point we’ve all felt like an outcast). So as I sit at the well and I see a man daringly come speak to me, I wonder what he might say to me. What issue is holding me back from a deeper level of intimacy from Him that he may confront in me? Would he call out my insecurity and ask it to leave? My fear of man? Depression, anxiety, the list of things that hinder us from knowing him more deeply goes on. But in that moment, I felt the kindness of my friend Jesus who said, “No, I don’t want this thing to hurt you anymore. You’re far too worthy. You mean too much to me, and I need to see you free.”
How sweet is Jesus though, really? He came to the grubbiest place because he loves us. He died a harsh death because he loves us. He chose us because He loves us. Now, we get to love Him back!
words by Samantha Imada and photo by Kate Bartley