Daily D – John 9:1-2
As he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” JOHN 9:1-2 (NLT)
Jesus saw a man. He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples saw a blind man. They heard he was blind from birth. They saw the problem. Jesus saw the opportunity.
Listen to verses 3 and 4 in The Message: “Jesus said, ‘You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.”
Every problem is an opportunity for God’s works to be displayed.
Jesus saw a man. The disciples saw a problem. We tend to see what we are looking for. We can see problems, or we can look for solutions. We can see objects, or we can see people. We can see someone with a past that led to their current predicament, or we can see the possibility of growth, development, change, and success.
I will meet close to fifty new people today. They are grouped in four cohorts, arranged according to the size church they serve. I can see them for who they are right now and how they got where they are, or I can look at them for the journey they are on and what their best next steps are. Since the training we are engaging in is called Next Step Leader, you can probably figure out which lens I had better use.
What if we saw everyone as a Next Step kind of person? How can we help others take their best next steps? Sometimes life feels like two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes it feels like Ginger Rogers (Look her up), who always seemed to take two steps back, one step forward. Let’s be honest: Sometimes it feels like all of our steps move in the wrong direction.
Read the rest of the story here in John 9 and you will discover that while things immediately improved for the man born blind, his circumstances did not get any better. Some people are not ready for blind men to see. Some people are not ready for alcoholics to become sober. Some people are not ready for party girls to become responsible.
Life change may involve a dramatic shift. Even so, it also requires what Eugene Peterson aptly expressed as a long obedience in the same direction. Some people need a great deal of assistance to walk straight after turning a corner.
What will you see today? If you walk with Jesus, you will stop seeing problems and start seeing people for who they can be by God’s grace and in his mercy.
I will see what Jesus sees.
Our Father, change my perspective so that I may not see problems but opportunities. May I see people for who they can be by your grace and in your mercy. Use me in whatever way you see fit to help people take their best next steps. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.