Let My Praises Be Heard!
JESUS INTENSELY LOVED THE SINNERS, BUT HE INTENSELY HATED THEIR SINS!
Who did Jesus love? Jesus loved everyone, including the great sinners (even the hypocritical Jewish leaders whose fury against Jesus finally resulted in Jesus’ crucifixion). Even from the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do!”. While it is true that Jesus loved all persons universally (without exception), there were persons whose attitudes and whose lifestyle Jesus despised (those who perverted the Gospel message through legalism and ritualism and hollow religious ceremonies)!
Jesus did not ‘like’ certain religious leaders -leaders with whom Jesus (in no way) could ‘form warm friendships’! At times, Jesus confronted these vicious ‘enemies’ (those who were plotting His destruction), but there were other times when Jesus intentionally avoided all contact with these ‘enemies against the truth’!
Jesus loved these ‘wretched’ (religious) sinners and He sought to bring them to the ‘light of truth’, but, there was no ‘affinity’ (no common ground for friendship). While Jesus loved His enemies, He certainly did not ‘like’ them (their lifestyle and their goals and their motives and their value system).
While He (God’s Lover sent from heaven) showed nothing but love to all (including His enemies), Jesus, on the other hand, hated their horrible sins (religious sins of mere ceremony and legalism and ritualism), and there was nothing in the lives that drew the heart of Jesus to them.
These religious bigots (religious leaders) were not ‘attractive’ to Jesus. Contrast Jesus’ dislike of these kinds of persons, to the great (human) attraction that Jesus had for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (siblings whom Jesus considered to be among His very closest ‘friends’). Even Jesus, while He loved the entire human race, had a ‘circle of persons’ with whom He spent quality time and for whom He had a great affection, and with whom He had a great ‘affinity’.
Jesus loved everyone without exception (including the hypocritical Jewish leaders who plotted His death), but there was only a handful of persons whom Jesus considered to be His closest friends! While it is true that Jesus loved the entire world (including even those who were plotting Jesus’ death), it is also true that there were a few persons (like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) with whom Jesus loved to be in their ‘comfortable company’! The Bible says that there was a handful of ‘women’ for whom Jesus expressed gratitude, because of their hospitality in supplying some of Jesus’ basic material needs!