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” remains flawed. Our love has boundaries. All boundaries have been removed from the love we find in Jesus.
Granted, the wiser we grow, and the closer we stand to the cross of Jesus, our ability to love deepens. Nevertheless, at the deepest part of our love we look down to realize that we stand in a very shallow, and conditional pool, indeed.
We have been commissioned with the very honored mission of lifting up the finished sacrifice of Jesus so that everyone in the world will know what they already have, rather than what they could have if they would get their act together. Where our love is quite common in principle, God’s love is extraordinarily, “uncommon.” There is no greater love than royalty disrobing so that street vagabonds can become equally royal. There is no greater love than perfection becoming completely imperfect so that the most sinful, and flawed of mankind can be made perfect.
Common love cannot accomplish such transformation. We stand today 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. Ours is the pot calling the kettle black kind of religion.
The Pharisees believed likewise. They said as much when they tossed a whore at the feet of Jesus, demanding judgment unto the Law. And guess what? Jesus agreed. He reasoned that we may do just that, so long as we meet one simply qualification. Does anyone remember what that qualification is? To hear millions of Christians 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 others, and to tell them they are 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. The awareness of sin that the Holy Spirit brings is wrapped in love, and delivered straight from the Father’s heart.
In fact, Jesus was the only man who met this sinless qualification, and He refused to judge, or call out our sin. He said that He had not come for the purpose of condemning the world for sin, or to judge any person for sinning. The Pharisees had done a great job of that, and their judgment had been rejected in mass. In short, Jesus was trying to ask us, “How is that working for you? How ridiculous do you look when SIN points to SIN?”
To point out the sin in others is to peck around in our own feces, like chickens in a barnyard. No, 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. Jesus came to deliver us from the chicken barnyard, and set us on the graceful flight of eagles.
No matter how high we fly, how long we live, or how deeply we love Jesus, on any given day our love is quite common. Nevertheless, the love of Jesus that 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, is extraordinarily, “uncommon.”