How do people see you? It was the English poet, Blake (1757-1827), who said that the problem with most people is that they see with their eyes, rather than see through their eyes. He was meaning that people don't see all there is to see because they only see what they think they see. It was the deaf and blind Helen Keller who said, "There are none so blind as those who will not see!" Ordinarily Blake and Keller did not have much in common except when it came to the art of seeing. There is more to see than what our eyes show us. Jesus had something to say about how we see - that if you can grasp it, will change the way we view everything.
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
When Jesus was "looking at him" what did He see that others couldn't? Most people saw a very successful wealthy young man. But God-in-the-Flesh saw an empty, lonely, hurting young man who was a slave to his 'things'. Rather than this young noble owning lots of things, Jesus saw that lots of things owned him. Sometimes we might see an angry young person who is hostile toward anything to do with God, the Bible, and in particular, Christianity. But I wonder who Jesus sees? Perhaps He sees a very hurt young child who grievously resents their inability when they were too vulnerable to resist their attacker who hid behind the subterfuge of a false religion they called, 'Christianity'. I wonder if Jesus sees this young person taking their hatred toward their victimiser out on "the Church" - and in particular Church leaders - and less particularly, Christians in general?
Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
Just before Jesus was executed, a woman with a reputation crashed a dinner party where Christ was a guest. She created a scene when she poured the proceeds of her profession over the feet of her Maker. The looks of disgust were probably no greater than the ones coming from Simon, the host. While Simon and his distinguished guests were glaring at this woman, Jesus asked him, "Simon, do you see this woman?" We do this all the time too. We think we see people. We think we've got them figured out. We think we know what a person is like. While Simon was staring scornfully at this woman, Jesus was seeing Simon. Despite Simon's religious hypocrisy, Jesus saw him as a broken man. You see, Simon had a secret that he was hoping no-one would ever find out. Jesus knew his secret. When these men saw a woman who had a 'name', they didn't see what Jesus saw. Jesus saw a little girl. This little girl may have been like other little girls who have been treated like objects to gratify the evil lusts of sick men. These violated girls grow to involuntarily believe that love equates to sex (even though they never actually do find the kind of unconditional acceptance and commitment from any man that would even begin to be constituted as "love"). The woman that Jesus saw was a gravely sorry lady who had previously had a 'chance' meeting with the Saviour. In that moment, she was both seen and loved for the first time. And she was forgiven. Not the "don't-worry-about-it" type of forgiven, but the "even-though-you've-hurt-Me-maliciously-and-repeatedly-and-deserve-to-be-judged-appropriately-I-forgive-you-and-release-you-from-your-debt-to-Me" type of forgiveness.
Sometimes our eyes are our biggest obstacle to truly seeing. It's long been known that sometimes the best way to see the world is to close your eyes. This world of problems looks different after we close our eyes and pray.
Our eyes can tell us that our situation is hopeless. Our eyes can tell us that there is no-one who can help us. Our eyes can tell us that God has abandoned us. Our eyes can tell us that the Enemy is getting the upper hand. It's in these time that we really need to see better.
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Second Corinthians 5:7
When I close my eyes I see a church full of worshipers. I see a city with thriving vibrant churches. I see a state where politicians honour God in both public and private. Maybe the only way we will see this with our eyes open though, is if more of us close our eyes!