|Luke 10:30 |
A traveler was beaten and robbed and left near dead
|Luke 10:31 |
Now by chance a priest was going down that road,
and when he saw him he passed by on the other side
Consider the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 30:37, I used it to teach the difference between knowing and understanding Love as an action. I sometimes ask two question after reading or telling this parable.
I was given passage of John 3:16 (as a starting point in reaching a solution to the initial question) which reads “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” But this passage is not a passage about love, even though it has love in the passage. John 3:16 is a passage on forgiveness. It would be perfectly applicable if the question read “What meaning can there be in a forgiveness that is not costly to the forgiver?” In that I cannot find a single issue in the Bible or in life for that matter, where the cost of forgiveness is not carried by the forgiver. More importantly the forgiver must pay the cost of forgiveness at the point of offense and again at the point of forgiveness.
However, the question is the cost of love to the lover. If we assume the biblical understanding for love (as an action), then we must understand that love by its nature will always cost, because every action cost something, weather it is time, money or even kindness. Any intercourse with a person, (positive or negatively) for their benefit will accrue a cost to the lover.
It is important to realize where in forgiveness there is necessarily an offense and offender, with love there is only necessarily the lover (giver of the love) and the recipient (of the love) no offense is required. As a matter of fact if an offense is transgressed against the lover than the love become an act of forgiveness, and the lover becomes the forgiver. This is exceedingly important because we know the love of the God existed before Adam’s transgression, and was not motivated by his transgression. Whereby the forgiveness (Christ on the cross) came after the transgression, since forgiveness cannot come before the transgression.
That being said the accruing of cost for love is at the willing discretion of the lover. Remember the Good Samaritan? That which he accrued was not at the compulsion of the beaten traveler, nor the priest, nor the Levitt, nor did the robbers that subdue the traveler, none of these compelled the Samaritan to love his neighbor. (Romans 3:12, 1John 3:17) Moreover none of them transgressed against the Lover (Good Samaritan) but his altruistic behavior was by the light of Christ within him. (Isaiah 58:10).
John 4:8 tells us God is love, this is greater than giving love or loving. It defines God as the personification of what Love is. Since God’s very nature is love, He demonstrates His love by lavishing it on undeserving, rebellious, deceitful people (us). Yet His love was given to us before the foundation of the earth! Therefore we who are in Christ and filled with His Holy Spirit, will naturally bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit of which is love. (Galatians 5:22) Since this love of God which shines through us is altruistic in nature we will bear that cost.
If love has no cost to the lover, than we must conclude Biblically that whatever it is that is expressed by the lover is not love.
|Luke 10:32 |
So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place
and saw him, passed by on the other side
But can a man love someone altruistically and not receive love in return? Or to make this easier can love be given to even someone that does not deserve it and still be rejected? Did Jesus die so that some may be saved or all? Yet to those that reject the gospel and the love of God we must conclude for them His love is meaningless. John 3:17-21[ii]
Yes love is costly to the giver of the love, but cost nothing to the receiver, and love may or may not have meaning, though we might assume that it has value (meaning) to the giver, we cannot assume that any meaning is expressively true of the receiver.
|Luke 10:33-35 |
But it was the Samaritan took the time to bound the traveler's
wounds, and paid the innkeeper to provide for the stranger.
costing him both his time and money.
It was the Samaritan that loved him
post modernity (how the world operates today) takes on the view that there is no absolutes truths. On top of this being just wrong, (2 +2 =4 is an absolute truth) this type of thinking replaces truth with opinion. This is especially true of issues as they relate to religion and spirituality. The postmodern man/women when confronted with truth regarding the reality of God, morality, and religion will respond with “That may be true for you, but not for me” to those postmodern that say they acknowledge a God they confess spirituality but not religion, a loving God that will forgive, without repentance, and most importantly they will deny the deity of Jesus Christ, saying He is just a good man or He never existed.
While a personal preference mindset has its value when dealing with art or favorite foods or movies, this mindset is dangerous when it is applied to reality because it confuses matters of opinion with matters of truth, it releases the individual from an external moral center which holds his action accountable to anyone outside of himself and decays society in general. Jesus spoke of this in Mathew 24:37 and Luke 17:26, as of his second coming, but this eschatology does not remain the premises of Christology alone, Scientific Eschatology has affirmed what scripture has said for thousands of years (see second law of thermodynamics) that the moral decay of humanity is not just a possibility but a reality. It has already happened and according to Jesus Christ will happen again. Genesis 6:5-6.
So than, from a postmodern view the answer is whatever the individual want the answer to be. As long as the subject’s feeling are not hurt, or they don't have to answer to anyone but themselves then anything and everything is possible.