I stumbled onto something the other day while preparing for a sermon last week. The passage I was preaching on was particularly difficult: Mark 11:12-25. It was about Jesus cursing a fig tree, cleansing the Temple, and then giving a teaching on faith and prayer. I found it difficult to understand Jesus’ harsh reaction to the tree, in the Temple, and what all that had to do with faith and prayer.
While struggling with this, I was led to read verse 11:
“Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.”
That underlined phrase stood out to me as I read it. Jesus looked around. He saw things. He noticed things. In fact, Jesus looked around at everything. What was going on in his mind? What was Jesus seeing?
That’s when it hit me: the key to understanding this passage is to see what Jesus was seeing! In fact, that is the key to understanding life: we need to see life through Jesus’ eyes. “Jesus-vision.”
You can listen to how this played out in my sermon (click here and then click on “The Good News week 11”- it will be uploaded later today), but more importantly is this concept of interpreting life through the eyes of Jesus.
Our own perspective is limited and uncannily self-oriented. We see things we want to see. We gloss over things that don’t fit into our priorities. And, as a result, we miss out on opportunities that God may be leading us into. But Whole Life Worship calls us to “open the eyes of our hearts,” to look at life as Jesus sees it, to notice what God is doing around us, and joining Him in that.
What if we asked the question, “Jesus, what do you see?”
I think if we asked for “Jesus-vision,” to see life through His eyes, we would be amazed at what comes into focus. We would see people in a different light. We would start to see them more as people “lovingly created in the image of God” and less than objects in our personal drama. Instead of seeing our trials as road-blocks, we would begin see them as stepping stones and opportunities. Jesus-vision would make us more aware of our blessings and more conscious of God’s constant activity all around us. It would move us to deeper prayer, to acts of compassion, and to inspired worship.
There’s a guy I see around a lot who (and I’m ashamed to admit this) I try to avoid at all costs. He’s awkward to be around, his conversations with me are so self-focused and they are so long! But recently God’s moved in my heart to see this man through the eyes of Jesus. I’m realizing that he’s a guy who’s loved by God – deeply. He’s also a person who has been hurt and damaged through the course of life. It’s given me greater compassion and patience with him And while I still have a long way to go (still a little bit of aversion in me), I understand that my encounters with him are God-ordained, holy moments. And it’s changing me.
Jesus-vision. It’s seeing life through a new set of eyes.