“The greatest expression of the Father’s Love, appeared to the uninformed witnesses of the crucifixion, like a blasphemer being cursed by God.” – Brook Potter.

On Christmas Eve 2014, some friends of mine called me out for a Christmas party. There was nothing unusual with their request, but as the evening went on, they decided to change venues. Many do not understand the relationships I have with my friends, so they wouldn’t understand what happened next. But a few hours into our meeting, I found myself driving down to meet my friends in the new location, which happened to be a brothel.

Now I understand that not every believer is in a position to go into places like this. And if less mature believers are still struggling with the habits of their members, of course I don’t recommend that kind of behaviour. I’m no stranger to going into places that many believers would never venture. I’ve ministered in the Red Light district in Bangkok Thailand, I’ve been through many bars, parties and fetes, and even been part of street outreach during the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Festival.

None the less, this Christmas eve, as i’m driving down to the brothel, a strange thought enters my mind. I tell my passenger that I’ll park just around the corner, so anyone who sees my car, will not see it parked right outside the brothel. After all, I do have a ministry reputation and most people will not take the time to understand what I was doing, but would much rather think the worst. So I figured I would just make it easier on myself, and avoid the “Appearance of Evil,” and I parked my car on one of the adjacent roads, out of sight from the main thoroughfare.

As we walked up to the venue, our friends called my phone and told me there is a cover charge on entrance, and, as he knows I generally do not walk with cash, he volunteered to pay for my entrance. However, at the doorway to get in, the guard took a look at me, and waved me in without any charge. The Favour of the Lord, perhaps?

Inside, our group grabbed a booth, ordered some beers, and started to talk, as a few of our friends went off to engage some of the house services. While in the midst of our conversations, another thought came to mind, that brought me to tears. It was the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus, as it is written in Luke 19:1-10.

Zacchaeus, was Chief among the tax collectors and had gotten rich by taking money from his own people, for the occupying Roman Empire, and, as a result, he was hated among his own people. Learning of Jesus, and being of short stature, he climbed a sycamore tree to see him. But the real heart of the story is what Jesus did upon seeing him in the tree. Jesus shouted across the crowd, “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.”

Jesus did not come to him privately, as if to protect his reputation. Jesus didn’t hide the fact that he was going to dine with someone who was considered a dog by the other Jews. Neither was Jesus concerned with how this would appear to the religious, or how it would affect his public ministry. Jesus’ love for Zacchaeus looked scandalous!

In that moment, I realized that I had not truly loved my friends honestly, above my ministry. I was still concerned with what others would think, and hence I tried to hide my presence by parking my car out of the way. Even if no one else thought it was a big deal, it was the heart of a Pharisee rising up in me, trying to put Ministry above loving people truly.

I started to weep to myself. When we left an hour or so later, I openly apologized to my friends for what I had done. Of course, they didn’t think anything of it, but I knew in my heart that I had not truly shown my friends how I’ve accepted and loved them as they are, even at their worst, without conditions. But being the friends that they were, they forgave me, and we went back to sharing old stories at one of their houses.

Some months later, I was invited to speak at a church event in Rio Claro, Trinidad. The host of the event got up and preached about his understanding of love. In the middle of his message he made a statement that “True Love never looks like sin!” Something inside me stirred from the Holy Spirit, as I understood the legalism that he was trying to pass off as Good News.

When I finally took to the stand, I made sure to point out that Jesus Christ, the full representation of the Father, did indeed look exceedingly sinful! The Pharisee called him an outright sinner (John 9:24), a drunk, a glutton, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19), a Sabbath breaker , a blasphemer (John 5:18) and even the Prince of devils, Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24).

I reminded the crowd that John 3:16 says that God so loved the world He sent his Son. That world was not a world full of Christians. It was a world full of pagan, homosexual, idol-worshiping, sexually-immoral heathens, and apostate Jews. But God loved them first, then blessed them with his greatest blessing, his Son.

And ultimately, the greatest expression of love by the crucifixion, shown by the Father looked like a violent death and punishment of a man, who was stripped naked, beaten and ultimately cursed by God. For us today, the imagery looked more like a horror movie, than a church film. It is only with hindsight that Christians can look back and see the event for what it was. But at the time, before the writings of the New Testament and the Revelation of Paul, when all of Jesus’ disciples had abandoned him except John and the women, that expression of love seemed full of wrath and judgement.

The truth is, we cannot protect our image and reputation and still love people who are in the dirt. We talk about giving it all for the gospel, but most of us would hide from a photograph that may happen to show a beer in it, for fear of what others will think. I understand that everyone is growing and everyone is in a different place, but this one thing I understand, If God is love, and Jesus is the express image of that Father, then we can safely say that true love, often looks exceedingly sinful, and should cost us our religious reputation.

Phil Drysdale talking about Jesus never avoided the Appearance of Evil.

https://youtu.be/QxFSwApV4Aw
Brook Potter, a native of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, has been a minister of the Finished Work of the Cross, including the ministry to heal the sick since 2009.

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18 Comments on "By His Blood – True Love looks exceeding Sinful!"

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Kara King
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Great article thank you 🙂

Mich Elle
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Awesome article! Thanks for bringing certain things to light.

Gem Bleasdell
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Thanks so much for sharing this. I was beginning to think that simply no pastors got it right anymore.

Melissa Roberts
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Jessie Mc Barrow Narsha Richardson Bertril Lewis Andrew N. Nicolls Sterlin Roberts Anya Jade Abibula Mala Christine Johnatty Anissa Ali

Ceta Jaggernauth
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Very interesting. Different perspective but the message never lost the sting of hyprocrisy of some believers.

Deon Madeira
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When Jesus dined with Zacheus he was a changed man. When he visited the woman at the well she was changed. After an encounter with Christ miracles happen. Tell me who was changed in this encounter beside the esteemed writer changing his mind about where he would park the next time he went to a brothel?

Brook Potter
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Deon, well like you said, the Author was changed. To exclude his transformation from the narative would be to beg the question. While the encounters you mentioned are great testimonies of transformation, don’t forget Jesus encountered the High Priests, Pharisees and Sadducee that DID NOT CHANGE. So it’s fallacious to say every encounter with Jesus results in Change, but fortunately that is not the case in this account.

Deon Madeira
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The topic here is the instances Jesus’ love appeared sinful. The result of which was the recipients of that love turning from sin into a holy life. His religious encounters was them rejecting his love.

Brook Potter
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… Exactly! The Author, when being reminded with the Love of Jesus from the Story, repented of the most grievous of sin, Self Righteousness! And was able to love his friends even at the cost of his reputation. Even if it brought the criticism of other who thinks he’s just looking for another opportunity to visit the brothel. Amen.

Terrence Hosang
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Many christians believe that christianity is centrally about “changed lives”… which the majority of the time means either “christians changing the lives of others” or “I act better because I am a christian” While there is nothing wrong with lives being changed, I think to elevate this as the paramount thing is indicative of many of the problems within christianity. Christians look for “fruit” as proof of authenticity, rather than simply trying to exercise love (towards others both inside and outside of the church). This is a means for the modern christian to excuse themselves from Jesus’ command to love… Read more »
Deon Madeira
Guest

He obviously let his light shine brightly. I’m sure his friends were grateful of him accepting their way of life and his willingness to partake thereof.

Matt. 7:20 wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Terrence Hosang
Guest
For you it may be more important that “a light sines” or “someone stands for what is morally good” or “some change occurs”, rather than truly accept others (weather they view life as we do or not) and treat with love. But that would mean that the underlying motivation for doing good is to “act like a christian”, rather than love in honesty and truth. I totally agree with Matt 7:20, however if you read Matt 7 in context you will see that “the fruits” are not good works… good works are actually shown in those verses to be antithetical… Read more »
Brook Potter Ministries
Guest
I’m sorry, at what point did the Author say he willingly partook of their lifestyle? The article basically says the author was willing to be number with the transgressors, it never said he actually engaged in any transgressions. Here’s the confusion Deon, you mistakenly equate loving rightly with evangelism. Which of course the article is not about evangelism, it’s about Christians Loving Others rightly. If Love and Evangelism were the same thing, we could not love our fellow brothers and sister who already believe. We wouldn’t be able to truly love those who have already been evangelized. Second, you’re assuming… Read more »
Sam London
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So I’m a little bit confused about the message of this story. Were you at the brothel to spread God’s word? To talk to some of the prostitutes and see if you could influence their lives? Or just there to hang out with your friends who were engaging in some of the “services.” I understand your point about showing love to your friends. However, on the other hand, if your friends know your profession and now see that you are essentially permitting this behavior by hanging out there with them and not actively trying to spread the good word or… Read more »
Liselle
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The carnal perspective of scripture in this article deeply grieves me. In the account of Zaccheus, Jesus did not sit next to Zaccheus while he conned people and “show him love”, rather he ate with Zaccheus at his home after Zaccheus had become repentant of his sin in his heart. Here Jesus showed that he cared for Zaccheus as a person, but did not condone his sin. In fact, after Zaccheus resolved to repay all he had stolen (demonstrating his changed mindset), Jesus said “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10″For… Read more »
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