These three are in one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. Many people call it the love chapter and it is used almost exclusively at weddings and sometimes at funerals for the hope that it gives to those who have lost someone dear to them. Paul writes at the end of this chapter that “the greatest of these is love”. Why?
Because it was love that brought Jesus to Earth to be the perfect Lamb of God for our sins. It was love that compelled Him to minister to all of the people who were not allowed in the Temple because of who they were or what sort of occupation they had. He taught them, fed them, healed them, and set them free through belief in Him and in His message. It was love that caused Him to sweat drops of blood in the garden that night before His crucifixion because the flesh of His humanity was not ready for the punishment that was coming.
Many people think that since Jesus was the Son of God, He didn’t feel pain or fear or helplessness but He did. All of those and more were part of His humanity that He was born into. The pain of a skinned knee as a child and the pain from the Roman soldiers scourging were both equally real. The pain from the soldiers whipping Him was far more excruciating because of their ferocity and hatred for the Jewish people that He represented to them. Then, after the scourging, He had to endure the humiliation of carrying His cross to the hill where He would be crucified on it. Jesus, the Son of God, endured this because of His love for you and for me and for every person of the human race past, present at His time on Earth and for all of the future generations to come after which includes us.
The greatest of the three is the true Love of God. Because if it hadn’t been, Jesus would not have been sent to redeem us and He wouldn’t have gone through all of the things which He allowed to happen and be done to Him if it had not been for the vast love of God poured out on humanity through the blood of Jesus. We are still loved and God still calls many to repentance with the offer of salvation. Some hear His call and listen but choose not to respond to it because of ignorance and pride. Some hear it and do respond but they don’t last because of family or the enticements of the world. Some do embrace the promise and the call and take it in completely and these are the ones that Jesus came to save and welcome into His home one day.
I pray if you don’t know your Savior yet, seek Him out. He came to pay the way for you and if you have ever felt even a little bit of God’s call in your heart, please make the decision to accept it and seek to follow Him today. It doesn’t cost you anything but the eternal reward will be more than you or I can imagine.