Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. John 9:1-3
This month we are taking another look at the gospels where Redemptive Compassion principles shine like jewels in the life of Christ. One consistent theme is that Jesus sees things differently than we do. He sees people for who they truly are. And how people are seen makes all the difference in the trajectory of their lives.
In John 9, Jesus walks by and sees a man who has been blind since birth. He sees a living person, suffering from a physical affliction. The disciples, on the other hand, see something else. They see the man as an object of debate. They see what they have been taught to see, assuming that congenital blindness must be a result of sin and punishment from God. They see a person of lesser value.
Jesus quickly corrects their twisted theology, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” The world looks at this man and sees no value, but Jesus sees just the opposite. He sees a human being created in the image of God, whose physical condition is an opportunity for God to work and be glorified in his life. You can read the rest of this amazing story in John chapter 9.
What do I see when passing by people who are hurting or stuck in difficult circumstances? Do I look for someone to blame? Do I see an object of debate? Do I view myself as somehow superior because I don’t suffer in that way or do I look through the lens of love? These are hard, but necessary questions if we want to see people as Jesus sees them.
Lord, free me from preconceptions and false assumptions, even “religious” ones that have crept into my heart. Help me to see each person’s intrinsic value and worth. Help me to partner with your beautiful work of reconciliation and restoration in others and in myself.
~ Jen Hanson