If I were to ask you to describe Jesus’ ministry to people, what would you say? It’s an important question, because He’s called us to be His representatives in this world, and we need to consider how we can best reflect His love as we follow in His footsteps.
What Jesus offers meets the deepest needs of each person who comes to Him. It goes beyond anything this world has to offer and has the power to transform anyone. He came to give the same transforming love to the shepherds in the fields as He did to the radical zealots or the religious leaders or the Roman centurion or the little children who gathered around Him. He gives freely to every person who is seeking to know the truth.
Jesus loves unconditionally! He sees past the faults, the outward appearances, and even the outward show in words and actions, to the heart that is desperate to find hope and truth. He promised that He would never cast out anyone who came to Him.1 The needs of each person stir His heart and should stir ours as well, regardless of whether they are a beggar on the street, a wealthy city father, an average person trying to get through each day, or a coworker we would not normally interact with all that much.
Jesus loves every person on earth as much as He loves you and me. Jesus’ love was never restricted to any one group of people. He loved the Pharisees who came to Him to seek the truth as much as He loved the publicans. He loved the Roman centurion as much as He loved the leper whom He touched and made whole. Jesus loved the woman taken in adultery as much as He loved His disciples. He loved the rich young ruler as much as He loved the widow with her mite. No matter who they were or what they’d done, Jesus loved them enough to die for them.
If we want to follow in His footsteps, we need to do the same. That means opening our hearts, as Jesus did, to share His love with those who need it.
1. See John 6:37.