"Not Necessity, but ..."
December 2, 2012
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10
They say that "necessity is the mother of invention."
I don't know who "they" are, and I'm not entirely sure that they are right in what they're saying. For example,
* a desire to get rich was the mother of invention for King Gillette. Having had a conversation with the inventor of pop-bottle caps, he decided to develop a throwaway product of his own: hence the safety razor with disposable blades.
* a love of frozen ice cream was the mother of invention for Ole Evinrude. Ole got angry when his ice cream melted before he could row his boat to an island picnic site. He invented the outboard motor.
* knowing there had to be a better way was the mother of invention for Leo Gerstenzang, who didn't like his wife cleaning their baby's ears with cotton wrapped around toothpicks. Leo came up with Q-tips.
The question for this weekender's devotion is what was the motivation for God deciding to send His Son into this world to save humanity?
It certainly wasn't a desire to get rich. The reality is the sacrifice of His Son's life on the cross was a terrible price He paid, so we might be saved. It wasn't a desire to find a better way to save us. Without Jesus living our lives perfectly, without Him carrying our sins, without Him dying our death, there was no way you and I could escape the fires of hell.
So, why did God send His Son to save us? John the apostle tells us in his first epistle. Here are excerpts: "... the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him ... He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Love: that is the reason God sent His Son.
Scripture tells us that "God is love." But we can only begin to realize, to recognize the immensity and quality of that love, when we take a look at the Redeemer.
Look at Jesus' life of suffering, of rejection, pain, disappointment, persecution, and remember all of this He endured, so we might be saved. That was love. See Him betrayed by a friend, deserted by His disciples, unfairly tried by His own church, and crucified. These things He suffered so that we might be forgiven and have eternal life. That was love. See Him rise from the dead and instruct His disciples to share salvation's story with a sinful world. That also was love.
Love: that is what God has shown to us.
And how should we respond? Luther said it: God's love is the reason I should "thank and praise, serve and obey Him."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there is no logical reason why You would love us enough to send Your Son into this world. Thankfully, Your love is neither based on, nor empowered by logic. For Your grace and mercy shown to us in the Person of Jesus, I give thanks. May my life show that thanks. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries