Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:1-7
In these words of our Master we see a beautiful example of what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. The religious leaders were living according to what they saw and, therefore, condemning and dismissing those who were obviously sinful. Our Master, on the other hand, saw who those “sinners” were created to be and the possibility of who they could become in the Kingdom of God that is now available. He was not repulsed by them as they gathered around to hear Him. No, He loved them and spoke the very words they needed to hear in order to become their truest selves.
We are faced with this choice every single day, Disciple: will we view people according to what they present about themselves, or will we view them by faith according to what our Father has said of them? We must devote ourselves to learning from our Master who people really are. The true story of the human heart, mind, and body is only found in the heart and mind of the Creator, for mankind was made as His image. There is an importance in every single person that is too easily and too often overlooked. In seeing with our eyes of flesh, we can miss what we’re always meant to recognize in the Spirit: that person is of profound importance and is invited to live a full and endless life.
There is a reason that loving one’s neighbor is the second great commandment in our Father’s Kingdom. There is a reason God sends His angels to minister to humans and called His Son to take on the flesh of humanity. The simple yet profound truth is that the living and glorious God, who rules and sustains the heavens and the earth, truly cherishes people. He knits each one in the womb and sees all that they do from that moment on. As our Master pointed out, our Father is acutely aware of what goes on with the birds of the air, and we are much more valuable to Him than they (Matthew 10:29)!
No matter whom you meet today, Disciple, remember that there is more to them than what you see. If they look like they have it all together, they don’t. If they look like they don’t have anything together, they probably do. It is not for us to condemn or dismiss like the hypocritical religious leaders. No, we are to be like our Master, loving and inviting all people into the unspeakable goodness and wholeness of God’s endless Kingdom. They matter to Him, and so let them matter to us, for we know that He sees all things clearly.
Seeing them with eyes of faith with you,