Is it possible to fall in love with someone whom you have never met? To have your heart captivated by their image, without beholding their face? To lay aside all other affections, for a singular affection of a person who is separated from you by 2000 years?
Amazingly, the answer is a resounding yes. As we speak, millions of people across the globe can testify to this truth. A man who lived 2000 years ago has caused their hearts to swoon, and his name is Jesus. People have given up homes, jobs, wealth, social status, comfort and even their lives for this man who they are never touched with their own hands like doubting Thomas.
What is it about him? Is it his looks? No for we are told “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). Is it his wealth? No, for we are told that, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20). Is it because he grew up in the best school system money could buy? No, for even his disciples asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46). Is it his pedigree? No, for his home town disparagingly said, “Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55).
This average looking, homeless, formally uneducated, carpenter’s son, has swept millions off their feet, and shifted history in a way that is unparalleled. No one can deny that history has revolved around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a historical and undeniable fact. His influence and effect on the nations is unprecedented. Proof of this is currently seen in that the love of Christ is beginning to swell in nations such as China, Iran, and Afghanistan. China is on pace to be the largest Christian nation by 2030 and Iran currently has the fastest growing evangelical church in the World, followed by Afghanistan. (http://www.operationworld.org/hidden/evangelical-growth). This is despite strong persecution in those nations against those who claim to love Christ.
Once again, what is it about him? Why are our hearts drawn to this carpenter’s Son? The answer is obvious, because He is more than a carpenter’s son. He is more than a vagabond. He is more than a citizen of Nazareth. He is more than a teacher, or a prophet, or a revolutionary. He is Living water, the Bread of Life, the Truth, the Resurrection, the Shepherd, the Vine, the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World, the Door, the Son of Man, the Son of God, Emmanuel. He is the I Am. Jesus is the Treasure of the Universe, more precious than silver and gold.
Those whom love Christ know this great truth, not intellectually, but intimately. The veil has been lifted from their eyes and they see the beauty of the Bridegroom, and they have said “I do,” for his beauty is irresistible. Their hearts have been enlightened so as to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus, and it causes their knees to buckle. God has birthed them into a living hope that has caused them to see the King whom they would now serve and die for.
This reminds me of the well known story of two Moravian missionaries who lived in Germany in 1732, John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman; one a carpenter and the other a potter, both in love with Jesus. The evidence of their hearts’ affection was to sell themselves into slavery so as to proclaim the Gospel to the African slaves in the Caribbean islands. As the boat pulled away from the shore and their families wept, one of them cried out, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.”
This love is supernatural. It cannot be explained apart from the Sovereign God’s lordship of man's heart. God in His loving grace has reached into the hearts of Christians and turned their affections to His Son. I cannot find any other way to explain it. The evidence that covers the globe is overwhelming. As always, The Word of God proves true, “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).