Before Jesus came, man only knew the moral laws. Every religion is based on the knowledge of good & evil (moral laws), including the law of Moses.
No man had seen God before they had seen Jesus. He is the true image and glory of God the Father. When Jesus came He revealed the GRACE and LOVE of our Daddy God.
John 1 “17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”
The Law brought condemnation and death because it veiled the eyes from seeing God. But Jesus came to bring the gift of righteousness and eternal life by revealing the glory of God in His life!
2nd Corinthians 3-4 “If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! ……”13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17……6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
The Glory of God’s love was displayed in the flesh in Christ who came and showed us what true love is! Jesus is the only One who has been with God for eternity and He came to do the deeds that He learned from the Father.
John 5 “he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”
How did Jesus deal with people? He did not condemn them but gave them grace!
Peter was a fisherman who had toiled all night without catching fish but then Jesus came to him and told him how to catch fish. After getting a huge catch of fish, Peter recognized Jesus as Lord and told him to stay away from such a sinner. The amazing thing is that Jesus helped Peter before he even realized his need! And in spite of Peter crying that Jesus should leave him, the Lord made him an Apostle! Peter came to Jesus in fear and sadness at his sins, but Jesus said “Don’t be afraid, you’re going to be my Apostle”. Jesus qualifies those who are disqualified by the world – He does this by GRACE!
Luke 5 ” 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
Later on, Peter would deny Christ three times, but Jesus restored him once again at the scene of another miraculous catch of fish, asking Peter to confess his love three times! What a wonderful Lord we have! He is the Lord who restores those who are faithless!
A leper who was shunned by the society came to Jesus and the Lord touched him and healed him. Leprosy was a disease considered as a curse of sin and people barred them and did not touch them but Jesus came to take away the sins of sinners! Jesus had no hesitation in touching the leper and healing him! What amazing love!
Luke 5 ” 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.”
A paralytic was brought to Jesus and He forgave his sins! This man did not even ask Jesus for salvation but he had come for healing – but Jesus gave him both healing and eternal life! He got more than he had asked for – much more !!
Luke 5 “9 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The tax-collectors were considered as betrayers and sinners by the Jews. But when Jesus saw Matthew/Levi the tax collector in the midst of his “sinful” work, He did not condemn him but made him a disciple!
Luke 5 ” 27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners? Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Finally, on the cross, we see the love of God in full display!
Luke 23 “32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”
The Lord was crucified by those who witnessed His love and miracles for 3.5 years first-hand. Can you imagine that? None of us have seen Jesus but only read about Him in the Bible, but the Jews of 1st Century Israel witnessed Him for 3.5 years and yet they crucified Him in unbelief. He loved them so much and yet they killed Him on the cross. From the Law’s persepective, they would have been guilty of a million punishments but how did Jesus reveal the Father’s heart?
Jesus forgives those who crucified Him. He says even if you kill me, I will forgive you. He said that He forgave them because they did it in ignorance – in spite of seeing Him for 3.5 years with their own eyes! That is how vast is the forgiveness of Christ! In Psalm 103, it says that the love of God is as high as the heavens are above the earth and as far as the east is from the west, He has taken away our sins!
God did not impute our sins against us but on the cross! Reconciling Himself to the world. He imputed our sins on the cross so that He can give His righteousness freely as a gift to those who believe in Jesus!
2nd Corinthians 5 “19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Look at the example of Paul – who was persecuting and killing Christians but Jesus appeared to him and saved him by grace! Paul was the chief of sinners and yet Jesus looked at him with compassion because of his ignorance. He loved him with great mercy and kindness – saving him and transforming him from the chief of sinners to the chief apostle of the Gentile nations!
1st Timothy 1 “12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”