The world has no true understanding of love.
Everyone seeks it, desires it, and even requires it.
Indeed, all the cruelty we see in the history of the world has been practiced in the absence of love. “Of course,” we might say, “cruelty is evidence of a lack of love.” But have we ever thought the cruelty practiced in the moment is the result of a lack of love over some course of time leading up to that moment?
Cruelty to any extent is payback time for a lack of love. The absence of one produces the other. This presence of one prevents the other.
This is how the world thinks, and this is how the world operates. Satan sees to it. It is a desperate bargain. I will “love you” if you will “love me” in return.
Jesus instead counsels us to “abide in My love.”
Jesus’ love runs contrary to the ‘love’ the world attempts to practice, because there is no bargain involved. Jesus’ love is not dependent on anything other than the fact He IS love, and He is loving. Jesus has no capacity for cruelty, so His love unreturned cannot produce anything other than a loving response from Jesus. In Christ, love is loving, and that’s all there is to it. There is no opposite side of the coin.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was a profound picture of God’s love for mankind. The Father gave His One and Only Son to demonstrate His love to a lost a dying world that completely misunderstands love. Did God understand most people would reject His demonstration of love as they rejected and killed His only begotten Son? Of course He did, and of course He still does. Does this prevent God from loving the very ones who killed His Son, and continue to do so (spiritually) even to this day?
The answer is God is love. Infinitely. Unconditionally. Inevitably. This is why when Jesus was being nailed to the cross, He cried out, “Father forgive them, they do not know what they do.” The cruelest moment in the history of the world produced only a loving response. Those looking on where stunned. This is the love Jesus invites us to abide in. It can only be loving because God’s love has no part cruelty.