The Lover of All Lovers
By David Berg
He came to earth as a tiny, weak, helpless baby, born to a simple, humble young girl who miraculously conceived the child, having never slept with any man. In fact, the news of her pregnancy was so shocking that when the man to whom she was engaged to be married learned about it, he promptly decided to break the engagement and call off the wedding.--Until a powerful heavenly being intervened and instructed him to stay with her and rear and protect this very special child that she was carrying.
Although ordained and predestined to be a king--in fact, the King of kings--He was not born in a palace with famous and glorious members of the court in attendance and the honor and praise of the system. Instead, He was born on the dirty floor of a barn amidst the cattle and the asses, wrapped in rags and laid to rest in the animal's feed trough.
Although His birth brought no great fanfare or recognition from the institutions and governments of men, that night on a nearby hillside, a motley crew of poor shepherds were awestruck as a brilliant, almost blinding light burst upon them from the starry sky and a host of angels filled the night with their heavenly declaration and song: "Glory to God in the highest! Peace on earth to men of good will! For unto you this day is born a Savior, Christ the Lord!"
Far away in the east, another herald appeared in the heavens, a bright star that caught the attention of certain wise men, who interpreted its meaning and followed it, as it led them to the exact location of the young child in that little town of Bethlehem, where they honored Him with their precious gifts.
His earthly father was a carpenter, a humble hewer of wood with whom He lived and labored, conforming to our human ways of life, custom, language, and living, that He might understand and love us better and communicate with us on the lowly level of our own limited human understanding. He learned to love mankind. He saw their suffering and had great compassion on them, longing to not only heal their sick and broken bodies, but also to save their souls, their immortal spirits.
When the time came and He began His life's work, He went about everywhere doing good--helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, saving whom He could. He not only preached His message, but He lived it among us. He not only ministered to people's spiritual needs, but He spent a great deal of time ministering to their physical and material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, feeding them when they were hungry, and sharing His life and His love!
His religion was so simple that He said you must become as a little child to receive it. He didn't preach temple worship, He didn't preach going to synagogue or going to church. He didn't preach complicated ceremonies. He strove to lead God's children into the kingdom of God, whose laws are summed up in the two commandments to "love the Lord with all thy heart" and "love thy neighbor as thyself."
He had very little to do with the highfalutin, rich-robed, churchy scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites--the religious leaders of that day--except when they insisted on annoying Him with their critical questions. Then He would sock it to them, publicly exposing them as the "blind leaders of the blind" that they were, even telling them that they were like whitewashed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful, clean, and holy on the outside, but within are full of rottenness, corruption, and stinking dead men's bones!
He was not a mere religious reformer; He was a revolutionary! He refused to compromise with the false religious system, but rather worked outside of it, reaching and sharing His love with the poor and common folk who had long ago abandoned and been abandoned by organized religion. He never went into any bar with whip in hand, breaking up the bottles and throwing out the bartender. But He did make a whip, go into their temple, overturn the tables, spill out the money and drive the money-changers out of the temple, condemning them for turning a house of prayer into a den of thieves!
He made Himself of no reputation, but was a companion of publicans and sinners, and the outcasts and downtrodden of society. He even told them that they would enter the kingdom of heaven before the self-righteous and religious leaders who rejected Him and His simple message of love. The power of His love and of His appeal was so great and gave such great faith to sincere truth seekers that they didn't hesitate to drop everything they had and forsake their livelihoods to become His followers!
Once, while crossing a lake in a small boat with His disciples, when a great storm arose and the boat was in danger of sinking, He commanded the winds and the waves to cease--and immediately there was a great calm. His disciples, astonished by such a demonstration of miraculous power, exclaimed to one another, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
Throughout His ministry He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers, and raised the dead! In fact, so marvelous were His works that they prompted a leading member of the religious establishment that most bitterly opposed and resented Him to exclaim, "We know that You are come from God. For no man could do these miracles that You do unless God were with Him."
Though He possessed more power than any man who ever walked this earth, He never forced Himself or His message on anyone. When they didn't like His message, He didn't force it on them; when they asked Him to leave, He left. It was all voluntary, all "whosoever will" and "come unto Me."
As His message of love spread and His followers multiplied, the established religion and its jealous leaders realized what a threat this formerly unknown carpenter from Nazareth had become to them. His doctrine of love was liberating the people from the control of the high priests, and therefore risked undermining their religious authority, their power and control and hold on the people.
These powerful religious enemies finally had Him arrested and brought to trial on false charges of sedition and subversion. Although the governor found Him innocent, he was pressured and persuaded by these religionists to execute Him. Just prior to His arrest, He had said, "They couldn't even touch Me without My Father's permission. If I would but raise My little finger, He would send legions of angels to rescue Me!" But instead, He chose to die--to save you and me. Nobody took His life from Him. He laid it down; He gave His life of His own free will and accord.
But even His death did not satisfy His jealous enemies! To ensure that His followers couldn't steal His body and claim He'd risen, they placed a huge stone over the door of His tomb and posted a group of Roman soldiers there to guard it--a scheme that proved futile, as these same guards became witnesses to the greatest miracle of all. Three days after His body was laid to rest in that cold tomb, He rose from the dead, the victor over all!--Over death and hell and the grave.
Death itself could not stop His work or His words. He rose to lead His tiny band of followers to ultimate victory--to overthrow the Roman Empire with love and the power of the Gospel. The love of God simply rolled on like a giant tidal wave to cover the whole earth!
Since that fateful day 2,000 years ago, this same man, Jesus Christ, has done more to change history and the course of civilization and the condition of man than any other leader, group, government or empire before Him or since. He has saved billions from a hopeless, Christless tomb, and has given the love of God to all who call upon His name.
This man, Jesus Christ, is not merely a philosopher or teacher or rabbi or guru, nor even a prophet. He is the Son of God. God, the Great Creator, is a Spirit and is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere and in everything--far beyond our limited human comprehension. God sent Jesus, in the form of a man, to show us what He Himself is like and to bring us to Himself. And although many great teachers have spoken and taught about love and about God, Jesus was love and He was God--the only one who died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. So He's in a class all by Himself, because He's the only Savior. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me."
How can you find out and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, the way of salvation? The answer is simple: try Him. Simply humble yourself and sincerely pray and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you of all your sins, and fill your life with His love, peace, and joy.
He's real and He loves you--so much so that He died in your place and suffered for your sins so that you wouldn't have to.--If you'll just receive Him and His free gift of eternal life. But He can't save you unless you want Him to. His love is all-powerful, but He won't force His way into your life. He knocks at the door of your heart. He doesn't kick it in or break it down. He stands there gently, meekly, in loving patience, waiting for you to open up and ask Him in.
Will you receive Him? If so, He will be the most precious one in your life, your closest friend and companion, who will be with you always. For He alone is the lover of all lovers, who came for love and lived in love and died for love, that we might live and love forever.
You can personally receive Jesus into your own heart right now by sincerely praying this simple prayer: "Dear Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I believe You died for me. I believe You're the Son of God, and I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door and I invite You into my heart. Jesus, please come in and help me to confess You before others that they may find You too. In Jesus' name I ask, amen."