God loves...

'Jesus loves you' is a common rhetorical derived from john 3:16-18; the phrase has been adopted as a mantra by modern evangelicals for the encouragement of outsiders and insiders alike, supplementing the equally popular 'God is love' (1 john 4: 7-16).

maybe the most troubling thing about this concept is that it can't inherently mean anything to the hearer. if we assume that Jesus is God and 'God is love,' then 'Jesus loves you' in the strictest terms only means that he is consistent with His character. His love has nothing to do with you in any practical way.

i drew this sketch to illustrate the trouble.

so next time you're tempted to tell a stranger that 'Jesus loves' them, you may want to re-think it. a more effective strategy might be demonstrating the love of God, if that's in the cards.

as ever,



  1. I love this. Seriously.

  2. Damn Joel. That's the truth, my friend. Especially that last sentence.

  3. @nathan: thanks.

    @michael: trying to twist toward hope, if not always optimism : )

  4. Nice. You're drawing skilz are improving.

  5. Hell yes. I very much appreciate this post, good sir.

  6. @micah thanks, man. they actually are... haha.

    @jered: thanks very much. i miss reading what you have to say.