I saw Mohammed Ali making an appearance on TV the other day. He was frail and shaky, a victim of Parkinson's disease. His spokesperson said the former champ was here to promote love and unity and Ali's eyes lit up when the kids approached to hug him and shake his hand – a response of love.
What a difference from the brash kid who shouted, "I am the greatest" nearly 30 years ago. Now he was gently urging the crowd to accept the notion that "Love is the greatest". I think Ali is on the right track with his message for several Biblical reasons:
1. Love is Godly
The Bible says that love is the quality that most defines God's character (I John 4:8). This does not mean that God is not also a God of justice, perfection and power but the overriding quality that permeates and shapes the other facets of His character is love.
2. Love is Powerful
"God so loved the world…" that He sent Jesus to die and provide eternal life for all of those who believe in Him (John 3:16). John tells us that God's love is so powerful it can raise the dead. Now that's power!
The champ was the greatest fighter of his day, some say of all time but his power in the ring and his bravado outside only made for division and enflamed passions among the fans. How, in the twilight of his failing health he has discovered that the source of true power is love. Let's hope that in addition to this belief, he will eventually understand that love's greatest power is not seen in the uniting of mankind but in the uniting of God and man through Jesus Christ.