Abraham Lincoln understood the power of perspective to affect our emotions and actions. So did Jesus. He saw lost people as “sick sinners” in need of healing and himself as their physician. The Pharisee’s saw “tax collectors and sinners” to be avoided and themselves as judges. Jesus perceived the condition of the soul; the Pharisees focused on conduct.
Jesus revealed his heart toward people when he said,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Lately, I’ve struggled fiercely with my thoughts and feelings toward a young man my daughter is dating. I asked my men’s group to pray for me because I wanted to reject and attack, not accept and witness.
Jesus spoke to me about the young man he saw versus the one whom I perceived. “Rick, he is poor, captive, blind and oppressed. I love him deeply.” Ouch, I knew my heart needed a shift. So, the other night we fired up my grill and perfected some steaks together. I learned later that he deeply enjoyed our time and wanted more. In fact, he dropped in unexpectedly two days later. I’m excited about the eternal possibilities that I see.