“God lets himself be pushed out of the world onto the cross”- Bonhoeffer. Most people stop loving after being rejected. Few people press on with caring after the slightest disagreement. If we do care after a disagreement, we keep them at arms length. Many grow old with fewer and fewer friends simply because we are not willing to try again. Perhaps it’s pride that gets into our way. But God is humble, he doesn’t stop caring after being rejected. He has the ability in himself while being rejected to still do good to us because he loves us still. God’s love is amazing.
The apostle Paul rejected Jesus in the severest sort of way. He personally put the followers of Jesus into prison many times, and helped to kill a wonderful Christian named Stephen (Acts 7). But God did not stop caring for Paul, the killer. On the contrary, he gave him another chance (Acts 9). Later Paul himself tells us over and over again, that God wants to save everyone. He wants the church to pray for “all”, including “all who are in authority”, for God “desires all men to be saved”, even Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all” (1Tim. 2:1-6). Yet the world remains unsaved. The apostle John says, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1John 5:19). This irony is hard to grasp. God created everything, and loves everyone, but is rejected continually. And even after being rejected to the point of being pushed out of the world onto a cross, yet he still loves us. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:10-13).
John then goes on to describe a Jewish leader who said he believed in Jesus (John 3:1), but then rejected the simplest command from him. Nicodemus refused to be baptized (John 3:1-12). Nicodemus gave merely lip service to Jesus. If we disobey the simplest of the commands, what will we do with the weightier commands of Jesus? Such as to love people who don’t love you back. “But love your enemies, and do good… and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men." (Luke 6:35). Help us Lord, to be more like you and less like us.