AN UNQUANTIFIABLE WORD

Friday: January 3, 2020

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

When someone says ‘the richest person in the world is worth over a hundred billion dollars’, for those who can appreciate, that is a lot. But to another who might not, using the words ‘a lot of money’ might be helpful. But here lies the issue – a lot of money is not specific enough.

To those who like to work within a quantifiable degree of error, 100 billion dollars is preferred to ‘a lot of money’. But today, in the first letter of John, we see exactly such a vague system of quantification, although not the only time it is encountered in scripture.

In John 3:16, we read ‘for God SO loved the world’ while Saint Paul writes ‘That you might know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph.3:19a). In today’s text also, we have ‘what manner of love the Father has loved us’. In effect, many authors seem to struggle with the presentation of an exact measure for God’s love and that is exactly how it’s meant to be. That love is supposed to remain unfathomable.

The hymn by Graham Kendrick even drives this home further :

Such love, pure as the whitest snow
Such love, weeps for the shame I know
Such love, paying the debt I owe
O Jesus, such love
Such love, stilling my restlessness
Such love, filling my emptiness
Such love, showing me holiness
O Jesus, such love
Such love, springs from eternity
Such love, streaming through history
Such love, fountain of life to me
O Jesus, such love

And oh, in case you noticed, even he couldn’t find a unit of measure hence ‘SUCH LOVE’. So don’t worry if you can’t find words to describe the love of God because you are not alone. Yet, you can still receive that love.

#sly

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