But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:25-27)
Words sometimes have many different meanings. I am not aware of any language that is completely exhaustive, and certainly not English. This can easily be seen in the word “love”. It is a word that we throw around a lot, and yet out of context it can be awfully confusing and vague. If I were to love my cat the same way I love my wife people would think this strange. Or if I loved my favorite food the same way I love my child there would be a problem.
Perhaps this is why we throw around the word love so freely without thinking much about what it means. We love animals, food, clothing, movies, music, friends, family, worship services and even Jesus. Yet what does that all mean? Love…it is just another word. Just another sentiment. Just another thing out there that we need to try to decipher and explain to youth and adults.
However, one needs only look to Scripture to see what love is truly like:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13)
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:10-12)
It was love that brought Jesus to become incarnate. It was love that caused Him to heal and care for the lame and the poor. It was love that sent Him to the upper room, that sent Him to be beaten, and it was love that caused Him to be crucified. So on the cross He makes love even more obvious: love means to take care of each other. Love your family. Love those around you. Love as God has loved you. A word of Love.