Many times I have been led to declare Christ’s love over and against the love that mere humans can express. In fact, as much as we can love anyone, Christ can love beyond our love, in a way that is pure and devoted to the glory of God! We can’t even imagine such love! We long for it, but we do not possess it… yet. The apostle John wrote that “we are God’s children now, and we know that when [Jesus] appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Someday we will love with the purity and God-centered focus that our awakened hearts long for!
Jonathan Edwards wrote of this love and noted that Christ has greater love for some than for others. He wrote,
“The love of the saints, one to another, will always be mutual and reciprocated, though we cannot suppose that everyone will, in all respects, be equally loved. Some of the saints are more beloved of God than others, even on earth. The angel told Daniel that he was a man “greatly beloved” (Daniel 9;23); and Luke is called the “beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14); and John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 20:2). And so, doubtless, those that have been most eminent in fidelity and holiness, and that are highest in glory, are most beloved by Christ in heaven; and doubtless those saints that are most beloved of Christ, and that are nearest to him in glory, are most beloved by all the other saints. Thus, we may conclude that such saints as the apostle Paul and the apostle John are more beloved by the saints in heaven than other saints of lower rank. They are more beloved by lower saints than those of equal rank with themselves. But then there are answerable returns of love in these cases; for as such are more beloved by all other saints, so they are fuller of love to other saints. The heart of Christ, the great Head of all the saints, is more full of love than the heart of any saint can be. He loves all the saints far more than any of them love each other. But the more any saint is loved of him, the more is that saint like him, in this respect, that the fuller his heart is of love.” – Heaven is a World of Love
It seems that many Western Christians are afraid to mention that God has special and unique love for some. We like our “equality” so much that it impacts how important “fidelity and holiness” are! But I love how Edwards does not shy back from pointing us to the glory of Christ’s love for those who are faithful and holy! Christ’s love for those who are marked by those qualities is greater than His love for those who are not faithful or holy.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.