Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

THE DIFFERENCE

“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them…” Matthew 9:36a

             Two religion professors at a large university were walking on campus the first day of Octoberfest. The season was all the excuse many students seemed to need to get drunk and wreak havoc. As these two men walked they observed a drunken brawl on the lawn in front of the university chapel. The one said to the other, “Do you know what is for me the ultimate proof of our Lord’s divinity?””No,” the other replied, “What is the ultimate proof of our Lord’s divinity?””It is that verse,” said the first professor,”‘He looked upon the multitudes and had compassion.’ Reading that, I know how utterly different Jesus was from me. I look at these multitudes and want to…obliterate them.”

            Was it Charlie Brown who said, “I love humanity. It’s people I can’t stand?”

            What do you see when you see the multitudes? When I see them on the highways, I see discourteous, dangerous and aggressive drivers, and I compete with them. When I see them crowded in shopping malls, I see them as obstacles to quick, efficient shopping, and I resent them. When I see them on television, in poverty-stricken countries, I see them as victims, and I pity them. When I see them sick, I see them as germ-bearers, and I avoid them. When I see them aligned with false religion, I see them as ignorant, and I feel superior to them. When I see them homeless, I see them as nuisances, and I despise them.

            But there was Jesus Who was able to see people more accurately than anyone else on earth. He saw their immaturity…their selfishness…their pettiness. Beyond these, He saw their screwed up values…their rebellion…their hatred. He saw people who only wanted Him for what they could get out of Him. And when they were done they would cry out for His blood. They would murder Him. Yet He had compassion on them and taught them…healed them…fed them…wept over them…and died for them.

            There is the difference between Jesus and me. May I be given His eyes to see not only what people are but what they might become…to see in others what He has seen in me…and to help Him give to others the same chance I have been given. Now what am I going to do about this?

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4 thoughts on “THE DIFFERENCE

  1. I don’t know how to answer this and me looking like a good person. A person Jesus would delight in. I have trouble with the crowds and the way they act and seem to be like heathens. I think of compassion and how Jesus would do for them if they would let him. But I don’t have the kind of compassion Jesus has. What should I do, pray that God would help me be better in this area. Because God wants those people home with him some day also. I would rather stay home than be with the crowds.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Sis, I appreciate your honesty. Like you, my compassion for people is often in short supply. And, of course, you and I are not likely to be in the same sort of contexts in which our Lord found Himself. He was a public teacher…and the gifts God gave Him to use (like the healing ministry) drew the needy crowds to Him. But though our spheres of service are so very much smaller, I do think we still need to draw from His seemingly limitless heart of compassion as we deal with others in our own small corner of the world. I think it’s fine…it’s understandable that you’d rather be at home than with the crowds. I think you can look in the Bible and find several spiritual leaders who would not have chosen the limelight for themselves (thinking particularly of Jeremiah). Yet they were willing, even under duress, to remain on the job for God and for others. I think you have that kind of heart too. We will keep on trying. TFS!

  2. When I read through the gospels, that is one of the biggest things that strikes me about Jesus. He had to be so tired. He had stayed up late healing the people that came to his door…gotten up well before day to go pray…calmed a storm, cast Legion into the pigs, healed the woman as she touched the hem of his garment, raised Jairus’ daughter back to life…yet he never lost his temper. He never threw a tantrum demanding to have his “alone” time. He looked on them and had compassion. He saw thru their pain and shame and saw that they needed someone to touch them (the leper)…saw that they needed someone to talk to them (the woman at the well)…saw that they were made in his Father’s image and just needed help getting Home. He saw that they needed a Savior. He looked at me and saw the hurts I had suffered and made it so that I could find the help I needed to get back to Him.

    I am so far from having that compassion…it makes me ashamed of myself. Yesterday was one of those days where everyone irritated me. I hated people. The ones that weren’t taking care of responsibilities…the ones that seemed to be abusing their power…the ones that keyed my son’s car. I hated them pretty much across the board. Lord forgive me. I got a chance to refocus last night at the Open. Thank God for the loving people there that gave me a reason to re-think my “hate everyone” mantra!

    Thank you Doug for always showing us Jesus and making me want to be better.

    • oakesclan on said:

      I share the shame you mentioned, Sherry. And I agree with your observations about our Lord. He was so weary…under so very much pressure…laden with the burden of a world’s redemption…and yet He came forth and saw the multitudes and had compassion on them. In fact, He seemed to be energized by them. (I can think of a Bible teacher we both know in whom I have often seen this same quality.) When He was at the well of Sychar, weary and hungry (and the disciples had gone into the village to buy food), He met the woman and began tending to her soul. He forgot His weariness and His hunger. When the disciples came back, He was no longer hungry. They were amazed and wondered if someone had given Him food. But He simply told them He had meat to eat of which they were, as yet, unaware. That’s the heart…the spirit. The disciples would grow into it, because of Him. Sometimes I wonder if I’m growing at all in this area. I guess I not only need to see with His eyes, but to feel with His heart and feed on His food. I love the way you expose your whole heart to Father God’s will for you…and for your honest way…and for the encouragement that comes through you to those privileged to know you in this life.
      God bless you and yours.

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