Words of Faith 10-11-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Corinthians 5
[16a] So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.
When God got hold of Saul of Tarsus he made a lot of changes but it may be that none was more powerful than this. As a believer, Paul had new eyes. He had literally been blind for three days before the scales fell off. From that time on, he had an entirely different way of looking at people, no longer from a worldly point of view. The practical effect of this was huge.
As a result of this conversion, Paul no longer evaluated people on the basis of externals or their utility. The ancient world viewed people as a political, social or economic commodity. People were viewed on the basis of what they could do for you. Some people were bought and sold in slavery. Indentured slaves served for a period of time in order to pay a personal or family debt. Daughters were, in a sense, sold for a "bride price" to another family and sons were valued for the social security they would provide in old age. The world valued people this way, but not Paul. Not any more.
With his new eyes, Paul saw what was happening on the inside of a person. He saw the old person decaying without Christ or the new person participating in Christ’s resurrection. He saw a brother or sister rather than the worldly categories. Paul declared in his letter to the Galatians what he could see in the Spirit-- "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (3:28). Paul no longer looked upon people according to class, race, gender or status as a slave or freedman. He no longer looked from a worldly or fleshly point of view upon those that Jesus had redeemed or those who needed redemption.
There is a powerful message here for us. In the Kingdom, we are not to regard people from a worldly point of view. When we have eyes of faith we begin to see people as Jesus sees them. Jesus didn't see a shamed Samaritan woman coming to the well alone; He saw a daughter of the King who needed to be set free by faith. Jesus didn't see a rich, young ruler, who could help Him gain influence with others; He saw a boy blinded by material riches and desperately needing His heavenly Father.
When we shed the worldly point of view and look with the eyes of faith we see that people are not a "human resource" or a "giving unit" or any other type of commodity for our use. People do not exist in order to achieve some end we have in mind. God does not value people based on what they can do for Him; He values them because He created them.
People are people, souls whom Jesus loves and died for. Every person that you and I come across today is unique and was created by God. Every person that we see is eternal. They will live forever and Jesus died so that they might have life that is eternal with Him.
The world views people valuable or expendable based upon what they have to offer to the society or system. To the world, unborn children have no power, clout, influence or contribution to make; so they are expendable. If the elderly and disabled are not productive, the world eventually will discard them when resources become slim. But God values all people as unique creations with a plan and purpose. The world views people as disposable while God views people as a sacred reflection of Himself worth rescuing and worth dying for.
This new view point is RADICAL. Just try it. Look at people with the eyes of Jesus. When we go to a restaurant we won't see a "table server" to make demands of; we will see a future disciple of Jesus. When we pass a new person in the neighborhood we will see the very person that Jesus died for. When we see someone causing trouble in line at the grocery, we will see some who needs Jesus. When a new person visits church, we won't look for what they can do for us but what we can do for them. When a kid shows up for the youth group with strange markings, hardware or unusual hair, we will look beneath to see the hunger, pain and need.
When we stop looking from a worldly point of view we won't be judging; we will be valuing and rejoicing. The mode of dress, color of skin and ink markings become invisible with the eyes of Jesus. The luxury cars, vast homes and designer clothing become background noise. Everywhere we look we will see someone that Jesus died for. We see a person of sacred worth. We no longer see people in terms of their worldly value or lack of it or what they can do for us or our church. We see a person of immeasurable worth. How much is that person worth? The Father paid His only Son as the ransom to set that person free.
The only question for us is this: Am I looking with the eyes of Jesus or with the eyes of the world?
Father God, give me Your eyes for people. Help me to see what You saw when You sent Your only Son to die for us. Help me to see the sacred worth and value of each person I encounter. In Jesus' Name.