Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. (1 Corinthians 1:26 NIV)
Jesus never looked down on others, and that gave him the ability to see them as people. They weren’t users, consumers, or customers. They were people in need of a relationship with him, not a dos-and-don’ts religion.
Once we understand our identity in Christ, we will begin to see people in a similar way. We will see that they are eternal beings, created in the image of God. We will no longer use their circumstances or sins to define who they are; we will see who they are through the eyes of Jesus.
This perspective, so different from our natural tendencies, brought out the best in the people Jesus met. He saw their true value, and, as a result, they came to know their true value.
Jesus saw a woman who would sin no more when others saw a woman caught in adultery.
Jesus saw a man who was able to see when others saw a blind man.
Jesus saw a man picking up his mat to walk when others saw a cripple.
Jesus saw a huge yet hurting heart when others saw a wee little man named Zacchaeus.
Jesus saw an articulate disciple when others saw a tax collector named Matthew.
Jesus saw a woman of willing sacrifice when others saw wasted perfume.
Jesus saw a stable rock for building the Church when others saw an impulsive, impetuous disciple named Peter.
Jesus saw men who did not know what they were doing when others saw evil men pounding nails into a cross.
Our objective is to stop seeing others from our limited perspective and to start seeing them in the way God sees them, encouraging the best of others, bringing them to the one who wants more than all the world what is best for them — Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8-10).
Talk About It
Think of someone that you have looked down on. When God looks at you and this person, what similarities do you think he sees?
Try to spend one day seeing and hearing through the eyes and ears of Christ. How does it change the way you see others? How does it change the way you treat others?
Jon Walker is author of “Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ and In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's Classic Work ‘Life Together’.”
He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals.
This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.