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Most of us have probably heard the proverb, “actions speak louder than words”. In fact, the phrase is so popular, Google Docs suggested it in autocorrect as I typed this devotional! This metaphor was first coined in 1692 by Massachusetts native, Reverend Gersham Bulkeley. Needless to say, it has stood the test of time. And I think that’s because there is some truth to this proverb. Many times, our actions can be just as compelling as the words we speak.
Another popular concept you have probably heard of is the Five Love Languages. The Five Love Languages are significant because “different people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways. By learning to recognize these preferences in yourself and in your loved ones, you can learn to identify the root of your conflicts, connect more profoundly, and truly begin to grow closer.” - Five Love Languages website
The Five Love Languages are…
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
I find it curious that of all the different ways human beings prefer to be loved, four of the five are driven by actions. Of course, they can all be accompanied by our words and words mean the world to the “Words of Affirmation” people out there (I’m one of them!). However, when it comes to feeling loved, a large majority of people would say, “actions speak louder than words.”
With all of that being said, here is another curious thought. We are constantly quoting the words of Jesus. And rightfully so! He was the most brilliant Rabbi (teacher) in the history of humanity! But, how often do we take the time to really sit and ponder the actions of Jesus? How did He love through His actions? Did His actions ever speak louder than words? Check this out:
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” - John 13:1-5
In this passage, Jesus knew His life was coming to an end. He knew He was about to be betrayed by a close friend. And He knew the fate of the human race and their relationship with God had been put in His hands. The battle for us was about to begin on the cross. Yet, here’s Jesus, scrubbing the dirt off the smelly feet of his students. That’s just who He is. No person is less than. No person is unworthy of love. Here is Jesus, the servant King of the world, ready to go before us and make us clean in more ways than one. “...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Matthew 20:28
This is just one of the countless examples of how Jesus expressed the Gospel through His actions. For the rest of today, consider the actions of Jesus in Scripture and in your life.
- How have Jesus’ actions impacted your life?
- How do they make you feel? Take in the loving actions of Jesus today.