Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
Love is the greatest thing on earth as well as in heaven. Before taking the cross, Jesus told “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Then He demonstrated His love by taking all sins of His disciples (and us), bled and died on cross. Yes, He loved His disciples to the end. He also comforted His disciples by telling “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)” Then He asked His disciples continued to be attached to Him because “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.“ (John 15:5) He even told to His disciples that He prepared “.. the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.“ (John 14:25) He did everything for His disciples before the cross.
Even so, all of the disciples failed. They fled when they saw Jesus was arrested. When He was falsely accused and tortured, they hid themselves making distance from Jesus. Peter, the disciple, who used to say “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” (Matthew 26:35), denied Him three times. After resurrection, Jesus came to Peter, who was suffering from the guilt of denying Jesus. Peter already abandoned his discipleship, and went back for fishing as he used to do before meeting Jesus. When Jesus saw Peter again, He asked Peter “Do you love me?” He repeated this question three times. Jesus did not question about anything related to Peter’s betrayal. Jesus cleared the guilt, and healed the deep wound in Peter’s heart with this question of love. By questioning, Jesus restored Peter. Peter was not worthy, but Jesus transformed Peter as a truly faithful disciple of His. After being touched by this tender caring love, Peter, who owed the unfathomable love of Jesus, shared the same love of Jesus by touching many many souls. God were with Peter, he could make thousands confess their sins and turned to the lords. This is the power of the Love.
The love of Jesus Christ is simply beyond the realm of human. Today I’d like to share a transcending love of one pastor, Rev. Sohn Yang Won. During the 1948 Yeo-soon Rebellion, two of Rev. Sohn’s sons were murdered by those who sided with the communist North Korea. The two brothers refused to renounce their faith. Rather, they boldly proclaim their faith to them, and they were shot to death. Soon, the area was restored by the Southern troops and police, and those who murdered two brothers were captured. Rev. Sohn visited the murders in prison, and pleaded for forgiveness on them. At the funeral of his two sons, Rev. Sohn gave a sermon of thanksgiving in the love of Jesus. In his sermon, he talked about “9 things to tank for”:
- My God, I thank You, for having allowed martyrs to be born in the family of sinners such as mine.
- My Lord, I thank You for having entrusted me, out of countless believers, with such precious treasures.
- Among my three sons and three daughters, I thank You for my blessings through which I could offer You my two most beautiful children, my oldest and second oldest sons.
- I thank You for the martyrdom for two of my children, when the martyrdom of one child in itself is much more precious than I could bear.
- I thank You for the martyrdom of my sons who were shot to death while they were preaching the gospel, when dying peacefully on his deathbed in itself is a tremendous blessing for a believer.
- I thank You for my heart is at peace as my sons, who had been preparing to go and study in America, are now in a place that is much better than America.
- God, I thank You for giving me a heart of love for repentance of the enemy who murdered my sons and compelling me to adopt him as my own son.
- My Father God, I thank you for there will now be countless more sons of heaven through the fruit of the martyrdom of my sons.
- I thank and thank Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given me these eight truths in times of such adversity, the joyful heart seeking faith and love, and the faith that provides me with composure.
On the day of the funeral, the place was full of tears while hearing Rev. Sohn’s thanksgiving before the indescribable hardship and pain of losing two sons. Then Rev. Sohn adopted one of his sons’ murders as his own son instead of the sons whom he lost on earth. Rev. Sohn’s love made the murderer converted, and the murderer became a Christian. Then the adopted son dedicated the rest of his life to the Lord, and even his son became a pastor. Later, the adopted son led Rev. Sohn’s funeral. He lived a life of one who owed the love of Jesus Christ through Rev. Sohn.
We owe love of Jesus Christ. Without His love, we could have been completely lost. We also owe love of our sisters and brothers in Christ around us. We owe loving prayers, fellowship with, and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Through love, together we have been and will continue overcoming anything on earth. Together we will be more than conquerors through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)
Let’s continue praying before God so that our love to God and to our sisters and brothers be increased. By loving each other, we will be light of the world in the love of Jesus and brotherly/sisterly love in Christ.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)