The Look of Love

12 04 2010

Tucked in the story of the Rich Young Ruler is this line: “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (Mark 10:21). The Young Man has just listed all his good qualities and accomplishments and (not because of this, but in spite of it) Jesus can’t help but look lovingly at him. That is just so like Jesus!

Jesus looks at people with love and compassion many times, but this one (I think) is particular; it comes when we are trying to pull something off; when we are trying to impress Jesus with our goodness; when we are up-selling.

I am so different from Jesus. Usually, when people brag I just kind of turn them off. I see their lips moving, but it sounds something like “blah blah blah blah blah.” Self-promotion is not an attractive quality (I know this) yet I do it all the time with God. I may not say it outright, but in my heart I am always giving myself more credit than I deserve. I actually think I have something to offer that will impress God; what a laugh!

But Jesus doesn’t laugh or roll His eyes when the Young Man lists off his good qualities. He looks at the young man with love. What’s going through His mind? Of course, I can’t say for sure, but as a parent I think I know that look. That look says, “I love you; I genuinely love you. I am so glad you are my kid. Even though I know you are trying to pull something off here, I just enjoy you.” I love being in conversation with our kids even when they are “off” in some way:

  • I love their intensity
  • I love the sound of their voice
  • I am drawn into what they are feeling
  • I am just glad to be in their “vortex”

And I love Jesus for loving me like that. The thing about this love that is so beautiful is that, like the Rich Man,  Jesus knows that I have done well in the areas that come easily to me, but I am failing to mention the areas I am hiding or unwilling to approach. Jesus isn’t fooled by anything; all the young man’s works are peripheral to the value placed on him by Jesus, just because.

Jesus’ love is a pause in the middle of the man’s encounter.  Jesus isn’t going to just pat him on the back and say, “keep on keepin’ on.”  Jesus is going to challenge him and the young man is going to have a revelation.

But behind it all, before it all, there is what matters most to us as children of God: the look of love.

— Teresa Klassen

Afterword: I love how this happens. Read my C.S. Lewis quote of the day and it is so relevant “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” Doesn’t that so describe God’s longing for us?




One response

14 04 2010
Tweets that mention The Look of Love « OneBrownLeaf --

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Teresa Klassen. Teresa Klassen said: Mk10:21Behind it all, before it all, there is what matters most to us as children of God: the look of love. Blog […]

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