The Unfathomable, Knowable Love of God

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

How wide is the love of Christ? So wide that when Jesus stretched out His hands on the cross, he did so for all people, that in spite of our unworthiness, by faith we might be reconciled to God. The width – the breadth – of Christ’s love is limitless, surpassing knowledge and understanding.

What is the length of Christ’s love? Beyond measure. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Jesus has always existed and will always exist, and is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love is from everlasting to everlasting.

How high is the love of Christ? Higher than heaven itself. High enough for Jesus to be seated with the Father in Heaven. High enough that we can be “raised up with Christ and seated with him in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 2:6).

What is the depth of Christ’s love? Deeper than the lowest Hell. Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a servant and humbling himself to be obedient to death, even death on a cross. The depth of Christ’s love has no boundaries.

Advent reminds us that God’s love, while unfathomable, is also knowable. How can this be? The answer, of course, is Jesus:

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3).

The God who formed the heavens and the earth sent us His son – not with power and glory (that comes later when Christ comes again), but as an infant, born of a virgin in a manger.

Unfathomable. Knowable.

What Child is This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It is melodic and moving, but more than that it points to the love of God in Christ. The song begins with a simple question: “What child is this?”  The answers we receive are breathtaking:

What child is this?

“The babe, the son of Mary.”

This child is Emmanuel – God with us.

What child is this?

“The King of kings, salvation brings.”

This child is the Messiah, the Savior of the World. This child is the Christ.

What child is this?

“This, this is Christ the King.”

This child is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

For Christians, God’s love is both unfathomable and knowable. But for the many who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, the love of God, while unfathomable, is also unknowable. God’s love is unknowable to non-believers because ultimately the love of God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. It is only when a person places his or her faith in Jesus Christ that the unknowable love of God becomes knowable – increasingly so as we follow Christ as Lord.

Does the love of God compel you to want to share God’s love with others? It should! The Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – is the best news we could ever begin to imagine. The good news is so good that it must be shared.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
Romans 10:15

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