• Jon Forrest

Yes, Jesus Loves Me (and You)

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Yes! Jesus Loves Me (and You)

One of the greatest theologians that ever lived, Karl Barth, was asked to be a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School. At the end of a captivating closing lecture, the president of the seminary announced that Dr. Barth was not well and was quite tired, and though he thought that Dr. Barth would like to be open for questions, he shouldn’t be expected to handle the strain. Then he said, “Therefore, I will ask just one question on behalf of all of us." He turned to the renowned theologian and asked, "Of all the theological insights you have ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?

It was the perfect question for a man who had written literally tens of thousands of pages of some of the most sophisticated theology ever put into print. The students held pencils right up against their writing pads, ready to take down verbatim the premier insight of the greatest theologian of their time. Karl Barth closed his tired eyes, and he thought for a minute, and then he half smiled, opened his eyes, and said to those young seminarians, "The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

The simplicity of the Gospel is what makes it so difficult for many to understand. We tend to make things complex because of our ego driven pride. Give me something hard to understand or challenging to achieve, but don’t tell me it is a simple as John 3:16. If we take Barth’s declaration of the song we tend to attribute to children seriously, we can begin to understand the difference between Christianity and every other world religion. Other religions deal with mankind’s search for God. Christianity is about God’s search for the hearts of people.

God created us because of his passionate desire to express love. He knew that, even though we were created in his image, we would disappoint him and turn against his ideals for us. He knew that our hearts would turn away from him and that we would fall into Satan’s sin trap. As a result, we would become his enemies. It would take something drastic to rescue us from the judgement and condemnation of our sins. That is the “WHY” of John 3:16; “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (The Message)

No one has to live in the trap of sin; to be buried in the depths of depression and defeat. God has provided a new, powerful, victorious and eternal life through the gift of his one and only son, Jesus Christ. He loved you so he gave. He gave his very best. That is what I call, “awesome theology.”

This Sunday we continue our New Year’s theme from John 3 with verses 16-18 in a message titled, “New Year; New Beginnings.” I don’t know about you, but for me, there were some personal failings in my actions that could use deletion and replacing. I hope you will come and join the FCC family and me in celebrating the new beginnings we can have in Christ.

Jesus love us together,


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