The Essence of Love

The most inspired scene of Son of God (2014) is the one where Jesus sees Levi. If you have not seen the movie, I recommend it, if only for that scene.

My love-quotes stash is fairly non-existent, but I am sure somewhere out there is a quote about the essence of love is seeing and being seen. Love is more than seeing, but I think it is an integral part of loving. How can true kindness or long-suffering or hope for the best or delight occur without seeing the other person? Hatred and apathy, one could argue, also utilize sight with opposite results; however,  I suggest that each person is worthy of love despite our failures and cracks, and the one who hates or is apathetic is blind or short-sighted. 1

Last night I watched Modern Family, and [spoiler alert] it was was the episode where Phil’s mom dies and the whole family travels to Florida for the funeral. The children were each given a gift and an envelope with a note from their grandmother, who was characterized as being “really nice” and the most amazing mother. The show made me cry because the grandmother really knew her family.  She knew what each person needed from her before she departed from this life. Of course, it is just a show. Few people know how to see and how to give like that (I certainly am a horrible gift giver with an occasional score), but love is better and truer when we see each other. Modern Family is about the love a modern, quirky family shares, but Mark 2:13-17 reveals that Jesus went beyond his family and beyond his circle of friends and beyond the right people.

Jesus loved Levi.

13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of[a] the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat[b] with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 2:13-17

 

 

 

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This series is inspired (but not sponsored) by FBC (First Baptist Church of Davis) and their fall focus running from October 4, 2015 through November 28, 2015. When I first heard FBC was doing this series, the lectionary reading and sermon that day at my own church, Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, was from the book of James, and it really spoke to me; James is also the first bible study I completed on my own: I was fourteen, and I wrote with colored markers in a spiral notebook each morning before school, using an observation-reflection-action method similar to the one outlined in FBC’s bible-study guide. I am looking forward to spending more time meditating on this challenging book of the New Testament. I will be using the bible study guide provided by FBC with the accompanying scripture throughout this series; however, my methodology might hop around from anecdotal to more analytical word study. My goal is to do this study daily, or at least a few times a week! A big thanks to FBC for their theme, chosen scriptures, and structure of this study.


Week 3
Monday – James 2 [James 2:1-5 for FBC]
Tuesday – [James 2:1-13 for FBC]
Wednesday – [James 1:19-27 for FBC]
Thursday – Mark 2:13-17
Friday – Luke 6:20-23
 

Notes:

  1. My apologies to the blind community for the extended metaphor–the sight of love is not with eyes but with our minds and hearts. Even so, God allowed us to literally see him in the life of Jesus, the Son of God.

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