I was driving yesterday and ended up following a car. This number plate caught my attention – above the letters and numbers it said “Jesus loves you.”
The phrase is so familiar to me that I barely registered it. When I did, I took this photo and intended on sending it to some friends of mine with the caption “We should do this on our cars!” Then I wondered, what was the point? How effective was it really, as an evangilization tool? What does that sentence tell you – “Jesus loves you” – and what? That someone called Jesus…has affection for you? I feel like this sentence is so incomplete.
In our world, what is the definition of love? Here is the dictionary definition:
Love – noun
1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for the other person.
2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend.
3. Sexual passion or desire.
So. Which is it?
“Jesus has a profoundly tender, passionate affection for you.”
“Jesus has a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection for you, as for a parent, child or friend.”
“Jesus desires you.”
I believe it is all of those things. Jesus has a rich, tender love for us. He loves us as a parent to a child, the love of a Father. And he desires us – not in a sexual sense, but in the way we crave the touch of a loved one. The way we long to find something precious we have misplaced. The way we thirst for water when we are dehydrated.
And yet still, his love for us is more than this.
JESUS LOVES YOU ETERNALLY
“The Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
~ Jeremiah 31:3
JESUS LOVES YOU INSEPARABLY
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rules, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creating, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~ Romans 8:38
JESUS LOVES YOU SACRIFICIALLY
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though for a good person one would dare to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
~ Romans 5:7-8
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
~ John 15:13
I think if I had a message on my number plate though, I would put:
“Jesus loves you unconditionally”
There is nothing I can do to make him love me any more, or any less. Nothing I can do to earn his love, or deserve it. Whether I want it or not it is there, steady and strong, an unchanging, undeniable truth to fall back upon and lift me up.
Dictionary definition of Unconditional Love:
Unconditional Love -
Affection without limits or conditions; complete love.
And so we have,
“Jesus loves you without limits or conditions; completely.”
Yes. This sounds like my God, and a God others would be interested in knowing.