“Jesus, who so often says “Whoever loves Me . . .” “Do you love Me?” is concerned about our LOVE!
He is concerned about a special kind of love. It is the love which is shadowed in the relationship between a bride and her bridegroom; that is, it is an exclusive love, a love which places the beloved, the bridegroom, above all other loves, in the first place. As a Bridegroom, Jesus has a claim to “first love”. He who has loved us so much wants to possess us completely, with everything we are and have. Jesus gave Himself wholly and completely for us. Now His love is yearning for us to surrender ourselves and everything that we are to Him, so that He can really be our “first love.”
…Jesus has the right to make such a claim upon our love, because there is no one like Him. No one is so full of glory, so full of royal beauty and powerful love as Jesus. His love is so overwhelming, so tender so intimate, so fiery and so strong. No human love could ever be compared with it.
…In Gethsemane, Jesus waited with such yearning in His heart for His disciples to stand by His side and show Him their love, but He sought and waited in vain. While He was in Bethany before His passion, He had also looked for love. There He found someone, who sympathized with Him and understood how heavy His heart was, because the time had come for Him to begin His road of sorrows. This was Mary. Her love had shown her how deeply grieved was His soul, and she did what she could do for Him. Her entire concern was to comfort and refresh Him. That is why she did not give her money to the poor (and so incurred the disciples’ reproach), but rather “wasted” it on Jesus Himself (Matt. 26: 8, 12). She wanted to comfort and refresh Him, because He was so grieved.
I shall never forget the time when it sank into my heart that because Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday, and because His heart is still suffering today, He is waiting for us to make Him happy and to refresh Him, yes, as the scriptures say, to be comforters for Him (Psalm 69:20). Since that time, my first concern has been Jesus Himself and not my ministry for Him, although I have throughout sought to fulfill that ministry. Now I was concerned about if one may express it this way the ministry unto Jesus. Since that time adoration has burned in my heart. I was grieved for Jesus’ sake, because He received so little love in words and songs of adoration. Since then adoration has never been lacking in my prayer life…
Jesus is yearning to have fellowship with us and to hear words of love drop from our lips. He is waiting for us. He wants us to be close to Him…Jesus is waiting for our love. As important as our sacrifices and our obedience to the commandments are for God (the rich young ruler sacrificed, and kept the commandments), they are not enough. Sacrifices and obedience do not necessarily yield the “eternal, divine life”. Love does not necessarily pulsate through them. Jesus is pulsating life and love and He wants to impart His nature to us. Therefore, only our love, which stems from the divine, eternal life which He has granted to us, is the proper response to His love for us. This love leads us to keep His commandments, which are His wishes for us. It will lead us to bring Him many gifts, and to offer Him sacrifices-but in a different spirit.
This love has radiant power. It radiates happiness and great joy. The Bridegroom is the Master of joy, who has been anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows (Psalm 45: 7). His bride participates in this great joy. She belongs to Him, the Sun of love, Who shines forth in light and joy. She is united to Him in marriage. His joyful radiance falls upon her being. It is love which brings more bliss and joy than anything else into the world. The joy of an earthly bride is but a faint shadow of the true, eternal joy of the bride of the Lamb.”
— Basilea Schling