By: Danny Wallace
No matter how hard we try our love has limits. We draw near to Jesus and we grow in love, yet “our love” is always flawed. It has specific boundaries, and every person’s boundaries are different. The wiser we grow, and the closer we stand to the cross of Jesus, the more our love deepens. Nevertheless at the deepest part of our love we look down to realize that we stand in a very shallow pool of conditional love.
We have been commissioned with the honored mission of lifting up the finished sacrifice of Jesus. Where our love is quite “common,” the love of Jesus for all people is extraordinarily, “uncommon.” There is no greater love than when a King disrobes so that street vagabonds can become safe, warm, and clothed in royalty. There is no greater love than, “perfection becoming completely imperfect,” so that the most sinful, and flawed of mankind can be made forever perfect.
Common love cannot accomplish such transformation. In organized Christianity’s religious “stand” today, we often stand united in a flawed belief. It is the same flawed belief that nailed Jesus to the cross. We have been taught that, “as Christians,” it is our duty to call out sin, and to declare sin where we find it in others.
The Pharisees believed, and adamantly taught this same mistruth. They demonstrated as much when they tossed a whore at the feet of Jesus, demanding rightful judgment unto the Law. Jesus agreed. He said we may do just that, if we “first” meet one simple qualification. Does anyone remember what that qualification is? To hear millions of Christians stand up and speak around the world today, apparently not.
Jesus said that if we have no sin of our own, then, and only then, may we judge the sin in others. Jesus said this with great confidence, knowing that black snow would sooner fall from the sky than a sinless man be found among us. Though we have come to believe that it is our righteous duty to judge sin in others, and to pronounce them “sinners,” there is no precedent for such logic from the creator of life, and the author of our faith. We are no more qualified to tell a person of his sin than a plumber is qualified to perform heart surgery. This is the artful, and loving commission of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, Jesus was the only man who met this “sinless” qualification, and He refused to judge, or call out our sin. By His own declaration, He did not come to condemn us, or judge us for sinning. The Pharisees had done a great job of that, and their judgment had been rejected in mass. Jesus came to die for all sin, in all people.
To point out the sin in others is to peck around in our own feces, like chickens in a barnyard. Jesus came to set us free from the burden of the Law, sin, and death. He came to lift us into the air on wings of Grace, forever freeing us from religion’s self-righteous cage. Jesus came to deliver us from the burdened existence of chickens in a barnyard, and set us on the graceful flight of eagles in the open sky.
No matter how high we fly, how long we live, or how deeply we love Jesus, on any given day our love remains quite common. Nevertheless, the love of Jesus sacrificed everything to forgive the sins of the entire world, not just yours and mine, but the sins of all who have ever lived, and who will ever walk the earth.
The love of Jesus is a boundless love. It is majestically beautiful – extraordinarily, “uncommon.”