About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Not For The Faint Of Heart   


I like Vince Gill's album entitled "The Reason Why."  He sings one song with jazz singer Diana Krall entitled "Faint of Heart."  Gill's country concedes to Krall's jazz on this song, resulting in real nice traditional jazz.  The song is about love between a man and a woman not being for the faint of heart.  As usual, just a phrase can give me an idea for an article, as does the phrase "not for the faint of heart." 


Whether it's country, rock, jazz, folk, or blues, the word "love" is one over-sung word in our popular songs.  Of course, it's hormonally laced love, which leads me to my point in this article.  The Greek word "eros" ("erotic" in English) expressed this sexualized love in the first century, Greco Roman world in which the New Testament was written. 


The most common Greek word translated as love in our English New Testament, sorry to say, is not eros.  It is "agape," and agape is love that is demonstrated in some form of personal sacrifice.  That's probably why the word agape grew out of common usage in the first century, Greco Roman world.  I guess everyone was more excited about eros than agape.  So what's new?   Our culture is no different, preferring sex over sacrifice any day of the week.


Since the word "agape" grew out of favour in the Greco Roman world, Christians adopted it to represent God's love.  God demonstrated agape when He sacrificed Himself by entering humanity.  Jesus demonstrated agape when He sacrificed Himself while on the cross. 


When Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, told us to love, he was telling us to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of another.  1 Corinthians 13, often called the "love chapter," is frequently quoted at weddings, but once the ceremony ends, the fire-filled explosion of eros begins.  Then over time, when the erotic flames begin to flicker, we see if agape can be ignited, and that is not for the faint of heart.    


Sacrificial love is central to all things pertaining to our lives as Christians, something we don't hear about in today's unbalanced evangelical gospel.  We hear about all of the benefits of being a Christian, but have we forgotten that in the same sacrificial way God sent Jesus into the world, Jesus sends us into the world.  Read John 20:21. 


"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.'"


In the eyes of popular songs, hormonally laced love makes for a good jazz song.  In the eyes of God, agape makes for a good Christian, and that's not for the faint of heart.   


Post Script 

Just in case you'd like to hear Vince Gill's and Diana Krall's song, here it is


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