Saturday, December 16, 2006

He looked at him and loved him

I came across another of my favourite verses from the book of Mark. It is Mk 10:21 where Jesus in his encounter with the rich young ruler writes of Jesus, 'he looked at him and loved him!' What a moment. Jesus by this stage knew in his spirit that this man was a rich man who oppressed the poor and needed to repent to enter the kingdom. Yet he looked at him and loved him. This is how he looks upon us. He looks at us and loves us. The first part speaks of Jesus engagement with us; he does not avert his gaze because of the terrible sins we have committed. Even though he is the eternal Son of God, creator of the universe and to be judge of all; even though he is a Jewish holy man in a land where holy men do not have anything to do with sin and sinners because sinners are ritually impure and to be shunned; despite these things, he looks on the sinner and loves them! This is not a passive love but a real, living, active love that leads Jesus to act on behalf of the sinner and die for him. The crunch of the story is 'follow me'! When we follow Jesus we do not follow a set of rules or rituals, we follow one who will lead us and love us; a friend! Now that's a saviour worth following!

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