“Jesus and True Love”
Hello friend, I’m J. Mark Horst, your host and this program is Hope for Today. It is produced by Heralds of Hope, an international Gospel media ministry. Each week the Bible teaching broadcasts of Heralds of Hope circle the globe in English and 22 other major languages. Thousands are tuning in each week to receive spiritual nourishment and blessing. We receive many exciting testimonies of people who have come to faith in Jesus by listening to the programs.
If you listen to this program regularly, I’m alerting you to expect some changes to our programming in the next several weeks. At Heralds of Hope, we are a growing and changing ministry. We are expanding our audience, we are adding new personnel, and we are updating our content. Eventually, you will hear a new musical intro to the program as well as some other cosmetic changes. But one thing that won’t change is our commitment to teaching God’s Word!
If you’re tuning in for the first time today, we are currently being led through the Gospel of John by the teaching of the late, Dr. J. Otis Yoder. He was the founder, first president, and Bible teacher for Hope for Today. He went home to be with the Lord in the year 2003.
But he taught the Bible in such a way that his teaching never goes out of date. And so, we’re rebroadcasting his teaching from the Gospel of John. We are confident that, if you tune in each week, you will be blessed by the clear, simple presentation of biblical truth. And that truth, if you accept it, will change your life now and for eternity.
In just a few moments, Dr. Yoder will come to share his teaching about Jesus. It’s titled, “Jesus and True Love.” But before he does that, let’s pray.
Gracious God our Heavenly Father, we come to you in the precious name of Jesus. It is alone through Him that we have access into your holy presence. His blood, shed on the cross at Calvary, is the only sacrifice that is acceptable to you to wash away our sin.
And now, Father, as Dr. Yoder comes to teach us from the Word, open our hearts to receive your truth. Teach how to love your more truly and completely. This I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The word love is difficult for us to define. We don’t really know how to express ourselves with respect to love. Let me try.
Love is the response of the heart. Love grows by the association of the object of love with the lover: the closeness of the lover and the object. We do not need to try to think out love, that is, to analyze it scientifically or technically, because it is an emotion, an expression and response of the heart more than of the mind.
However, to be proper, love needs control and direction. Because we are made in the image of God our first and basic expression of love should be directed toward God. Even though we cannot see Him, we need to direct our first and basic love toward God. Then we need to direct our love toward our families and neighbors.
You know, Jesus said it once like this, “The first and great commandment is, Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
The Bible further counsels us in these words, “We love Him because He first loved us.” That means that true love is a sharing experience. Real true love is that love which God has expressed toward us and we may express toward Him.
So I am going to be talking to you about JESUS AND TRUE LOVE from John 12:l-ll. I believe that Mary expresses true love.
- Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
- There they made him a supper, and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
- Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
- Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
- Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
- This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
- Then said Jesus, Let her alone; against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
- For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
- Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
- But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
- Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
This experience provides us with several INSIGHTS into the nature of true love. Let’s think about them together a bit.
Love Expresses Devotion.
Take a look at Mary’s gift. It was very costly, we are told. It was precious ointment: a pound of ointment of spikenard very costly. We do not know how expensive this ointment was, but some Bible students have suggested it may well have been that Mary spent all her life time saving to get this precious ointment.
Then she brought it and poured it on Jesus’ feet. This act of Mary was an act of deep love. She expressed her devotion to Jesus by bringing this very expensive ointment and anointing His feet with it and wiping them with her hair.
Love, true love, expresses devotion.
Love Endures Suffering.
Now notice Judas’ reaction. He looked at what Mary did and considered it a terrible waste. He said, “Why was not this sold and the money given to the poor.” He scorned Mary. He ridiculed her. He thought she lacked good judgment.
We are told further why Judas said what he did. It was not that he cared for the poor, but he was greedy. He was a thief. He liked the feel of money in his hands. He wanted more money. So he heaped on Mary suffering.
In my words he was saying she should have known better than waste all this money on this ointment. Mary’s love endured that kind of suffering. Love Enjoys Approval.
Did you notice how Jesus responded to Judas? He rebuked him, we might say. He said, “Let her alone. For the day of my burial, she has kept this.”
Jesus understood Mary’s motive. Judas did not. But Jesus understood why she came and why she had spent her life saving. He understood and He approved her in it.
Then He gave Judas a bit of council, “You have the poor always with you; but me you do not have always.”
Now, I learn another lesson from this: whatever you are going to do for the Lord, you should do now. Some of these other things can wait, but not what you do for Jesus. Jesus approved Mary’s act of love. So Mary’s love enjoyed Jesus’ approval.
Love Encourages Belief.
Many Jews came to the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. They came not so much to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus whom the Lord had raised from the dead. Because of this miracle of Lazarus, they came.
Let us also notice that Mary’s love encouraged them to believe. Her expression of devotion surely must have had an influence on those who came and left believing.
When they saw Lazarus, when they saw Mary, they were convinced. Mary’s love encouraged them to believe.
My friend, Jesus and true love should arouse you and me to consider our attitudes. Mary’s love expressed devotion, endured ridicule, enjoyed approval and encouraged belief.
Let me tell you, my friend, Jesus is worthy of your true love. Mary illustrates this for us. Why don’t you respond to Him now in true love?
Thank you, Dr. Yoder for showing us these insights into the nature of true love. Mary’s extravagant gift was an expression of her deep love and devotion to the Lord Jesus. How are you showing your love to Him?
Now, if you were blessed by this teaching and would like an audio CD or a printed copy of it, just write and ask for the teaching “Jesus and True Love.” We would be happy to send a copy to you as soon as we receive your request.
The quickest way for you to contact us is to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. That e-mail address is email@example.com. Or you may write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember, you can request a printed manuscript or an audio CD of this teaching, “Jesus and True Love.” We’d be happy to send one to you.
And when you contact us, you can request our newest publication, Hope Herald. It is a study guide that follows these radio programs and will help you learn more about what we are studying from John’s Gospel. So, ask for your free copy of Hope Herald today.
Here’s the contact information again. The quickest way to reach us is by at this address; firstname.lastname@example.org. Or write to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Remember; you can request a free copy of this teaching, “Jesus and True Love.” It’s available in print or on an audio CD. And you can also request a free copy of our newest publication, Hope Herald. It will help you gain more value from our study in John.
And don’t forget our Bible teaching programs are available to you all the time and any time at the website, twr360.org. That’s twr360.org. Thousands are logging on to the site for spiritual nourishment and blessing. You can join them and be blessed too!
Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Dr. Yoder continues our study from John’s Gospel with an important message titled “Jesus is King.” You won’t want to miss it. And until then, I urge you to keep looking for that blessed HOPE.