Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.
John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.
It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.
Love like Jesus.
Bearing all Things
Love is the goal of all of Christian life. Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus. The life and death of Jesus. This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13. Let’s consider
Love bears all things
It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.
Jesus bears all things
Here in the next four statements, Paul supplies general truth about love. He will summarize all of his teaching after these general truths about love.
To bear, in the Greek, is synonymous with suffering. Suffering for another, bearing the pain and carrying the load of another. Love protects the one suffering. It is interesting that this term had a connotation of protection by placing a roof over the one who is vulnerable. It also speaks of suffering silently, patiently, possibly directing this teaching to those in the Corinthian church who were seeking flashy, self aggrandizement. It is so good that the modern church has shed its reputation of this problem!
Love suffers silently. Love protects the weak and vulnerable.
When I was a itty bitty boy living in Canada, during the winter, our family would huddle around the TV to watch Hockey Night in Canada. It was almost ritualistic. Each of us boys had our favorite team. For me, it was the New York Rangers. They never won a Stanley Cup, barely made it to the semi-finals, but I tended to the underdog. For some reason, the weak appealed to me. (Forgive me Brad Park!)
Then, on June 14th, 1994, after 54 years of being without a Cup, the Ranger won! (They simply bought the Edmonton Oilers to do it!) Nevertheless, it was the last hockey game I ever watched. They didn’t need any attention. They were champions.
Do you root for champions in the church, in the workplace, in your family relations? We are to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, but we sometimes forget that we are to simply love the unlovely. Help the ones who are not visible. The weak and vulnerable are the ones we can exercise our love with.
Of course, if we seek the weak simply to love them (and to get a notch in our belt), we completely miss the point. Remember, the term speaks of suffering silently with the weak.
1 Corinthians 9:12
If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
Paul is speaking of enduring/bearing anything rather than placing an obstacle in the way of the gospel. This is such an high calling, and Paul so often exemplified this attitude. He was so faithful.
1 Thessalonians 3:1, 5
Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone…
For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
Golly Paul, this love thing is tuff. Love bears all things and yet under the mounting pressure you experienced in Athens, you admit you could not bear “it”.
But wait Carl – don’t be so quick to judge. The bearing in 1 Corinthians 13:6 speaks of bearing all things. In this passage, Paul is speaking of his desire to be with the church in Thessalonica, but that Satan hindered him over and over again. This is what he could not bear. The frustration of Satan’s hindering, the longing to see his brethren. Paul exposes his weakness to the church, his desire to be with them.
Love bears all things, yet when a giving heart is not able to love, it can become unbearable.
Jesus replacing Love
So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?
On the cross, Jesus suffered. It is well known that Jesus uttered seven sayings from the cross, and the sum total time to express these thoughts are under a minute. As far as we know, the remining time on the tree, He suffered silently, willfully hanging in shame and extreme pain, suffering unjustly, in order to protect the vulnerable, the weak and destitute, the one who is writing these words. The one who is reading this post.
He bore all things for our redemption and rescue, for our protection and provision. Give thanks brothers, for He is good.
Please join me in our next study where we will consider the next “all things” phrase. You won’t believe the topic!
I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.