Jonathan writes... A friend of mine has periodic post entitled, “One Line” that is one statement, sentence or quote. Recently he posted one line that said, “Possibly the most profound statement in the Bible: God is Love.” I teased him that this IS the most profound statement in the Bible and then moved on. This statement sat with me like a patient friend waiting for me to discover that he has something I really need to hear. It was like I had to come back to it.
And as I finally took the time to sit and wrestle with the depth of this one statement, it began to really affect me. Much of the journey in following Jesus is discovering the Imago Dei, or the image of God. What is my Father really, really like? But is God really love?
There are many statements in the Bible that express the profound nature of God. God is a jealous God, an everlasting God, a provider, a banner, a maker and a shepherd. All of these are great and purposeful. But they don’t answer the one question that my soul longs to know. Does God love? And does He love me?
If God is simply a God for the Israelites, then I find it really hard to care. But if God is a God of all creation, relentlessly pursuing my restoration and reconciliation, a God who is bent towards relationship, then I am deeply interested. And this one statement helps shape all of the previous descriptions.
And when I look into the face of Jesus, I see the Imago Dei. I see the face of God. And the face that stares back at me says, “I Love You.” They don’t say, “I’m disappointed.” They don’t say, “You’re not living up to the standard.” They say, “I…LOVE…YOU!” This is what God does. He loves. And much of the journey in following Jesus is simply accepting these three little words. It’s realizing that my actions do not define who God is. He does.