Someone once shared with me this thought: It is easy to say, “I love you,” but far more difficult to live a life that consistently reveals, “I love you.”
We treasure those places in the Word of God where Jesus said the words, “I love you,” such as John 15:9 and 12; but beyond the words, His life and actions continually revealed that He loves us as no other has or could. The truth is that the very essence of God is love, and the Bible definition of love is God.
The life of the Lord Jesus Christ was the living demonstration of love. Jesus expressed His love in His Word. Jesus demonstrated His love in His living. Notice with me how Jesus demonstrated His love in Matthew 20:29–34:
And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
Jesus Cared for Individuals, Not Just Crowds—v. 29–30
As they left Jericho, a great multitude followed the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples. The days of Jesus casually strolling with His disciples were gone. It seemed that now there was always a crowd of hundreds, sometimes thousands.
His disciples always seemed to focus on the crowd. This day, they thought it was improper for these two blind men to demand the attention of Jesus when so many were around. But the Lord Jesus knew the importance of the individual.
It is important for us to remember that great lesson. Our world is becoming more and more anonymous, more and more aloof. What a tremendous opportunity for Christians to be personally caring and accepting, revealing the beauty of the gospel through caring acts of friendship! The world, like never before, needs more loving pastors, caring soulwinners, interested Sunday school teachers, bus captains, and junior church workers. We talk of a lost world, but I believe we would reach people more effectively if we saw them as lost individuals.
Jesus Listened Carefully to Discover the Needs of Others—v. 30
These men were crying out because they had real needs. They were not just seeking attention; they were seeking help. The disciples did not hear the cries for help, only the noise of distractions from their own purpose. The disciples were on a journey, a mission, and it did not include time for stopping to help two blind men.
But the Lord Jesus’ mission was different: He had come seeking those men and desiring to save them.
Sometimes we can get so busy with working the details of ministry projects that we can fail to minister to the individuals the projects are meant to reach.
Jesus Took the Time to Be Present with Others—v. 32
When the disciples urged Jesus to keep moving and the natural flow of the crowd was to keep going forward, it is a stunning contrast to see the words: “And Jesus stood still...”
It is hard in our hurry-up world to realize what a statement of love it is to give people our time and our attention. A few minutes of true listening can be a great way to provide encouragement. A moment of shared prayer can be a very real help.
Jesus Determined to Meet the Needs of Others—v. 32
Not only did the Lord give of His time and attention, but He also was now ready to give of His resources to help. He asked them, “What will ye that I shall do unto you?”
Jesus knew their need, but He wanted these men to enter into the miracle. When we have the resources, love demands that we help (see 1 John 3:16—19).
Our Lord was careful to love in deed and truth. His actions perfectly expressed His love.
Jesus Dealt Compassionately with Others—v. 34
“So Jesus had compassion on them.” His concern was not whether they deserved to be blind, or if their parents had sinned, or if they had a record, but that they had a need.
Sometimes it is difficult to discern when tough love is necessary. We must be careful that what we call tough love is not actually the absence of compassion in our own hearts. In our hard world it is easy to develop an attitude of, “I can’t fix it all, so I won’t help at all.”
Jesus Touched Others Where They Were Hurting—v. 34
The Bible says Jesus, “touched their eyes,” and their eyes were healed. We do not have to be “touchy-feely” people, but we do need to touch lives with the love of God.
We are a peculiar people put on this earth to be the light that directs people to our Savior, not only with our words but also through our living.
Jesus may not have often said the words, “I love you,” but there was never a moment or a day that He did not live it.