THE KING OF PASSIONATE LOVERS
No one knows more about romance, intimacy and love. No one has ever loved as passionately like the one deservedly called the King of lovers. His methods are smooth, deliberate, and intentional. His wooing is calculated and done without ever rushing, pushing, or force. As with the best of lovers, the heart of the Lover-King belongs only to the one – the betrothed. For her part, it’s all a mystery why someone so rich, so charming, so good, would want her. This is all the more mysterious considering what her predicament was: kidnapped, held as a captive, guarded by vicious thugs. On hearing of her plight, the Lover-King risked life and limb to stage a daring rescue. There was much blood shed in the rescue, more than the damsel would ever know. When delivered out of harm’s way, the King of Lovers showed her great kindness. Initially the gifts were nice new clothes, then accompanying jewellery, then flowers, meals, strolls together. Her abused and weary heart began to trust again to increasing degrees of vulnerability when her Lover-King was there. As she opened her heart to this King of lovers the more she was seen as deeply beautiful.
¶ My beloved is mine, and I am his;
Song of Songs 2:16
THE ULTIMATE DISCOVERY
The greatest lover who has ever graced this planet was a man who never married and was celibate for life. Yet, this man was the most fulfilled person of all time and enjoyed the greatest riches of human flourishing. Women loved to be in His presence, and never felt safer than when they were. Men respected Him and wanted to be like Him. Children followed Him and shared laughs with Him when they did. He was a man who knew He was loved and knew better than anybody how to really love.
Yet the world had never seen such love. Neither did it know how to respond. Such love was foreign to all who met Him. Compared to what they had been calling ‘love’ His love was sweet, pure, selfless, gentle, and generous. All this made the following fact all the more remarkable: He never once said, ‘I love you.’ He never needed to. People who encountered it knew it!
His love was not unbridled passion – not every lust or whim or desire would be met with a ‘yes’, for, as those who watched Him closely knew, His love was was truer than these imposters. Love’s “yes” must be protected by a battalion of “no’s”! Only by saying “no” to the masquerading imposters of lust, whim, and desire, can love’s ‘yes’ be protected.
¶ The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him.
The ultimate discovery for many was that what they thought was love was merely instant gratification masquerading as love which then came at a price they later found out to be unimaginably high.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Love can only be when there is a deep respect for its sacredness. Jesus, the King of passionate lovers, has shown us that there is more to life that is sacred than perhaps we realise. We human beings are endowed with the unique ability to express the image of God to the world in a way that animals cannot, nature cannot, and those who do not know Him cannot. Thus, the King of lovers taught that love only has meaning when it is treated as being sacred (something dedicated to God for His glory). This is why the highest expression of physical love, sexual intimacy, demands the highest commitment first – a covenant of marriage made before the Holy God (Hebrews 13:4).
The rescued girl in the opening paragraph is an apt metaphor for all those who have been rescued from the devilish kidnapping forces of the Enemy who has bewitched many into thinking the heinous lie that love is grounded in fulfilling their basest desires. Jesus Christ, the Lover-King literally risked life and limb to rescue us. Once rescued, He has showered us with lavish acts of kindness and generous bounty. In return He wants nothing but deserve everything. And for those whose hearts have been revolutionised by His wondrous love, loving Him in return is the most beautiful privilege we could ever receive.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ¶ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:35, 37
He still woos hearts. He still rescues the kidnapped. He still lavishes His generosity upon the underserving. Oh what love! “So amazing – so divine! Demands my soul – demands my all!”