Seeing People for Who They Are and Not What They’ve Done
Jesus continues to be the perfect model of making it personal. He never hesitates to reach out, bend down, pause His plan, or take a stand. He was known for His compassion for the masses and the marginalized, and we see it best in how He meets people right where they are.
The woman described in John 4 had a past she probably wasn’t proud of and she still didn’t have it all together, but this didn’t stop Jesus from meeting with her and inviting her into a better story. Interestingly enough, Jesus chose to reveal Himself as the long-awaited Messiah to her before anyone else! (This is like Peter Parker telling Ned that he’s Spiderman, except way cooler, because it’s Jesus.) Imagine what this must have been like! Even Jesus’ best friends, the disciples, didn’t really get who He was at this point. But because Jesus saw her for who she was instead of what she’d done or the mistakes she’d made, the woman was emboldened to sprint back into her city and tell everyone about Jesus and His personal knowledge of her life. As a result, the whole city got to meet the Messiah! Incredible. In Jesus’ eyes she was not a lost cause, but rather a person of great potential made in the image of God! Jesus made it personal with her by seeing her for who she was and who she could be.
Here’s the thing: Seeing people for who they are and not what they’ve done is powerful, but difficult, especially if they’ve wronged you in some way. However, as Christ followers, we are called to forgive as we have been forgiven—to do for others what we would want them to do for us. You and I don’t want to be defined by our mistakes. Hopefully, we are seeking to be known for our love and who Jesus is making us to be. We need to learn how to flip the script and give others the same grace Jesus has given us.
Look back for a moment to when you met Jesus. And smile, because that, right there, is an amazing moment. (Are you smiling?) Part of what happened right then was that your sin disappeared from God’s sight. When He looks at you, He sees the finished and perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Instead of your flaws, He sees Jesus’ faithfulness. Instead of your powerlessness, He sees your purpose. Instead of your wreck, He sees your redemption! This is huge! What if we could learn to see through this lens as well? To look, not at someone’s sin, but past it to the Savior? With this vision, we can come alongside people and help them take a step toward Jesus.
Challenge: Ask Jesus to help you see people through His eyes. Who are the people you are trying to “make it personal” with right now? Write down one thing about who they are and who God made them to be that you may never have noticed before. Share this encouragement with them. That’s a great way to make it personal.