"Love bears all things, believes all things,
1 Corinthians 13 is probably the most well-known and well-used chapter in the Bible because of its subject matter - love. It is the "go-to" chapter for weddings, for it uniquely and perfectly describes the many facets of love. But to keep 1 Corinthians 13 in context, we need to look at the chapter before it, which talks about spiritual unity and diversity in the body of Christ.
It was this diversity that the Apostle Paul was addressing. He wanted people to realize that even though we are one body with many members, we have all been baptized by the same Spirit, so we should try to live in peace with each other. So speaking in tongues, or having the gifts of prophecy or faith, was not important if you didn't have love.
Paul eloquently reminds us that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. And when we look at Paul's description of love, we see the object of his affection right away.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy;
Jesus was our perfect example of love. He suffered and died for us, was kind, and not envious. In fact, Jesus often had no place to lay his head, but he did not complain. He did not parade himself around puffed up with pride or boast about who he really was. He did not dishonour people by treating them rudely. He was not self-seeking. He was not easily angered. In fact, the only time he let loose with his anger was in righteous indignation over what the priests had done to the Temple of God when they turned it into a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-14). Jesus kept no record of wrongs done to him. In fact, he took them to the cross and forgave them there. He did not rejoice in evil or inequity, but he rejoiced in the truth, and that truth kept him on the cross for you and me. Why? Because love (Jesus) bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things and endured all things so that we might be saved. This is true love.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
© 2014 Laura J. Davis. All Rights Reserved.