No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus Christ holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved. (John Knox, 1513-1572)
“…taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…” (Acts 17:5-6)
The love Jesus has for His people, and the love for Jesus that the Holy Spirit supernaturally puts in the hearts of believers, is a world-changing love. The early Christians did not courageously face gruesome death for a mere concept. When they died — because of the radical message that Jesus had come to save sinners — they did so from, and for, love. Supernatural love. The kind of love that, in its wake, transforms natural inclinations, superseding and dissipating both fear and anger. This devout love turns the life of the individual, and the whole world, upside down.
Have you met this Jesus, who is Love?
Painting: The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer, by Jean-Leone Gerome, 1883