O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
by Ann Higginbottom
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
Consider the depth of the ocean. In its deepest parts it is unsearchable. Even with advanced technology, there are mysteries in the depths below. There are creatures that exist down below the surface of the sea that mankind knows very little about—their creation, it seems, solely for the glory of the Creator. The deeper one goes below the rolling waves and shimmering sunshine, daylight disappears and a deep, black vastness sets in. It is dark. It is chilly. It is mysterious and without bounds. Though I have never been lost at sea, I can only imagine the overwhelming sense of being far from land and encompassed by ocean. The miles of sea—in every direction, including below—must seem unmeasured and incomprehensible.
In Matthew 14, Jesus joins His disciples in the middle of the night, walking on water. The disciples are making their way across the sea without Jesus, when suddenly He appears above the waves and through the wind. The Creator of the vastness below was walking above the current. In a moment of boldness, Peter stepped out of the safety of the boat and onto the waves. As he walked, with his eyes fixed on Jesus, he progressed closer and closer. And then the unmeasured might around him—wind and water and waves—consumed his thoughts and shifted his eyes off of Jesus. In a moment, he began to sink. The depth below could only be mastered by the One who fashioned it.
The timeless hymn O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus paints a beautiful comparison between the mighty ocean and the love of Jesus for us. It is humbling to consider the depths of the unknown ocean and then to ponder the unmeasured love of Jesus. Despite our sin, despite our inability to know our own need for grace, the love of Jesus is vast, unmeasured, and boundless. And only by the dying love of Jesus are we set free.
Not a day goes by without hearing the groans of our hurting and broken world. It is as global as human trafficking and terrorist attacks and as local as broken homes and mental illness. This world needs to know the love of Jesus that has no bounds and no end to its depth. A glimpse of the news these days is hard to stomach. At moments, I want to turn off the newscast and push the angst of the aching world to the back of my mind. Yet to do so—to ignore the aching and desperate pleas of a broken world—would be a foolish attempt to avoid what is real and raw. Evil exists on our globe, in our country, even in our homes and families. Like me, are you tempted at times to feel like the enemy is winning? Oh that we would together be reminded of the infinitely greater and vastly deeper love of Jesus! The same Jesus, who measures the depth of the ocean in His hand, has already won victory over our hurt.
William Langland was an author in the 1300s. He beautifully penned these words. “But all the wickedness in the world which men might do and think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal dropped in the sea.” A live coal—hot and red—is no match to the vast ocean below. Neither is the wickedness and hurt of our world compared to the deep, deep love of Jesus.