Laura Lewis, Relationship Education Program
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:1,14 (NKJV).
Things aren’t always what they seem, and God tells us in Isaiah 55:8 and 9 that His ways are not our ways. When Christ was born Israel was looking for a political Messiah, someone to free them from Roman rule, but God had a different plan. When questioned by Pilate before his crucifixion, Jesus tells him that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). While man was looking for political freedom, a temporary freedom. God was offering them something better. Spiritual freedom, an eternal freedom.
Jesus wasn’t born in a palace surrounded by Israel’s most important celebrities. He wasn’t even born in an inn. No, he was born in a stable, surrounded by shepherds. Philippians 2:5-8 says: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
It is so easy as humans to look at people and circumstances from a surface lens, instead of investigating deeper and seeing things from God’s eternal perspective. When Samuel went to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king, at first he was looking at the physical appearance, and the Lord responds to this, “[T]he Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7b).
In this season, I have felt a strong conviction and deep desire to look beyond the
outward appearance and demeanor and see people the way God sees them. It seems like every conversation I have had with believers lately, and even situations God has been putting me in, has convicted me that it is crucial that I look at people and really see them from God’s perspective, and in every situation I need to be motivated by the love of God.
In response to Pharisees criticizing Him for eating with the tax collectors and sinners, Jesus retorts, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17, NIV). In 1 Corinthians 1:27, we see that God has chosen the foolish and weak things of this world. Jesus came to show us the Father (John 14:9), and He came “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
This Christmas as we reflect on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may we have a greater understanding of His Love and His heart for the lost. As we start the New Year, may it be our resolution to co-labor with Christ (I Corinthians 3:9) and see each person from His perspective.