Jesus said, “I have come into the world to exercise judgment so that those who don’t see can see and those who see will become blind.”John 9:39 CEB
I have been thinking, what does God see when He looks at my life. I know what I see, but what does God see?
You know it’s so effortless to look at someone else and see all their faults, all their warts, and bumps, and all the bad things that they do. And then we look at ourselves and see how good we are compared to that other person.
I’m trying to wrap my mind around this idea of “seeing” as it relates to the transforming work that God wants to do in our lives. It got me wondering what does seeing as God sees look like, how does that work out in the life of the sanctified child of God?
What does Holy Eyesight look like?
“I have come into the world to exercise judgment so that those who don’t see can see and those who see will become blind.”
One of the dangers of taking one verse from God’s word is that you run the risk of losing the context of why that particular verse was written. I want to be very careful and not lose the context.
This passage of Scripture is part of the miraculous healing that occurred in the city of Jerusalem. Chapter 9 of John is entirely taken up by retelling what happened. John tells us that Jesus and His disciples came upon a man who was blind – he has been blind since birth. The disciples asked Jesus the question: “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?”
The common belief of the Jews was that the sins of the parents were passed onto their children. Jesus refutes this argument and says that it wasn’t his parent’s fault, and it wasn’t his fault that he was blind. He says that his blindness is going to be used to display the work of God in His life.
It is important to note at this point that the day that this event occurred was the Sabbath. Keep that thought in your mind.
John tells us that Jesus spits on the ground to make some mud and puts it on the man’s eyes and tells him to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash. The man does as he’s instructed, and the Scripture tells us he came home seeing.
His neighbors are really astonished that this man who has been blind all his life can now see. He recounts what Jesus did for him.
The neighbors decided that they needed to take the man to the Pharisees. Before them, he retells the story to the Pharisees of how Jesus restored his sight. Some of the Pharisees said that Jesus couldn’t possibly be from God because he violated the Sabbath by performing that healing. Others said that Jesus was a Sinner, and it wasn’t possible for him to do something so miraculous.
Not knowing what to do, they have the man’s parents brought in to try to get an answer from them. All they could get out of them was yes, he’s our son, and yes he was born blind. They tell the Pharisees that he is of age, ask him to explain it to them. Why did they avoid the questioning? It was because they were afraid that they would be excommunicated, kicked out of the synagogue.
It seems they were frustrated with the parents, so they question the man again, and they want him to explain again how Jesus healed him. It seems that maybe the man was getting a little frustrated with all the questioning and grows a little backbone and begins to stand up against the Pharisees questioning. He suggests in his response to them that maybe they want to become disciples of Jesus – probably not the right thing to say because it upsets them even more.
The man goes on in responding to the Pharisees that he finds it remarkable that they don’t even know where Jesus comes from and that God only listens to those who do His will. The man is insinuating that Jesus must be Godly. He then flatly states that Jesus must be from God because if he’s not, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.
The Pharisees seemingly have enough of the man and call him a sinner and kick him out. Jesus heard about what happened to him and caught up with him. Jesus introduces himself to the man, and he says that he believes, and he worshipped Jesus. John doesn’t come right out and say it, but I’m presuming that the man became a disciple of Jesus that day.
That all brings us to our Scripture passage.
“I have come into the world to exercise judgment so that those who don’t see can see and those who see will become blind.”
Why did the Pharisees miss out on seeing the miraculous event that occurred? Why where they more concerned that Jesus performed this healing on the Sabbath? Why were they so interested in determining who performed the actual healing?
Didn’t sin already blind them? The Pharisees weren’t just any everyday ordinary religious Jewish person. These were the ones that devoted their lives to studying and learning from the Hebrew Scriptures. It seems that in all their knowledge they had gotten to the point that they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. They were stuck looking at all the details that they couldn’t see God and what God was doing right there in their midst.
Don’t we run that risk in our walk with God as well?
I have written previously a broad overview of what this thing called Sanctification is all about. I wrote about consecrating our lives entirely, wholly to God.
The transforming work of the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives involves every part of us, and that includes our eyesight.
Sin has a terrible way of distorting our vision. Remember back in the book of Genesis and the very first sin?
6The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked.Genesis 3:6-7 CEB
“Sin causes us to look at life through the lens of entitlement – that we deserve salvation without repentance, wealth without work, accolades without self-denial, health without personal discipline, pleasure without sacrifice.”Gary Thomas – Holy Available
Do you know what happens when we see life through God’s eyes? We see the height and width and depth of the love that He has for us, we see the richness of His grace and mercy. When we see through God’s eyes, we want to be like that man who Jesus restored sight to and just worship Him!
Paul, in his prayer for the church at Ephesus, prayed:
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, 19 and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength.Ephesians 1:18-19 CEB
Peter captures that idea of enlightenment that Paul spoke of when he wrote:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light.1 Peter 2:9 CEB
Isn’t it exciting to contemplate what God wants to do through us as we yield ourselves in entire consecration to Him?
What does it mean for us today to see through the eyes of God?
I think one of the most compelling images in all of Scripture is the image of Jesus when Lazarus had died. I believe that what I find so compelling about it is that Jesus is God. He knew what He was going to do. He was going to bring Lazarus back from the dead.
Jesus delayed going to Bethany, knowing that Lazarus was sick and dying. He delayed going by two days. When he finally makes His way to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. The family, Mary, and Martha are understandably upset and dealing with grief. They ask the “if only” types of questions. The friends and other relatives are shocked.
John tells us that Jesus “was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” He then captures the image in two short words: “Jesus wept.”
Keep that image in your mind for a moment – Jesus wept. Jesus, God Himself, who knew exactly what was going to happen next, was moved by compassion that he cried over the situation.
Seeing through God’s eyes enables us to look at people and our world differently. Through transformed eyesight, we can see the world with the eyes of compassion with the eyes of Christ. We get a whole new perspective on the world around us.
The problem that we humans run into and we Christians aren’t much better is that we tend to look at the world around us with distorted vision.
An example that stood out to me was a pastor and his church that was planning on burning the Qur’an. From my vantage point, he looked at the Muslims and sees terrorists and people to be despised and disrespected. He holds contempt for their religion and their holy book.
The problem with what he planned on doing is that he created so much controversy that in trying to make a point, he has hurt the cause of Christ. Jesus said that our mission was to go and make Disciples. How can we effectively reach those of the Islamic faith if we ridicule their religion and attack the things they hold as being holy?
Looking at those of the Islamic faith through the eyes of Christ would have us see them with compassion, knowing that their religion is not leading them to the one true God. Seeing them through the eyes of Christ would enable us to reach out to them and build bridges to them so that we can point them to Christ.
Stop and think about some of the people that you know that are caught up in some kind of destructive behavior or habit. Through our natural eyes, we see little hope for their lives; all we see is what they are doing. I’ll be honest with you. I’ve said occasionally about people like that, “what a waste of human flesh.” What a horrible thing to say, but when we look through our natural eyes, that’s what we see.
Think about some people who have a different skin color than you do, whether they be black, Hispanic, or Asian. When we see them through our natural eyesight, we see them with all our prejudices, and we treat them accordingly. When we look at a black person, and we see someone who is lazy, living on welfare. When we look at a Hispanic person, and we assume that they are here in our country illegally from Mexico and that they’re involved in drugs. Praise God that God is color blind!
It would be wonderful if that when we came to Christ and became a disciple that God would lift the top of our heads and pour in a whole new person with no temptations, no prejudices, no bad habits that need to be stopped.
The problem is that He doesn’t do that, so we begin our walk with Christ with all the prejudices and fears and worries that we had before coming to Christ. As we yield ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit, he does the transforming work so that we begin to see as Jesus sees.
When the Holy Spirit begins to transform our vision, we can no longer look at a person who is caught up in some type of destructive behavior and not be moved with compassion to pray for them, to encourage them, to point them to Jesus, to offer that cup of cold water to them.
When the Holy Spirit begins to transform our vision, we can no longer look at a person and then gossip about them and destroy their character and reputation. We’ll be driven to our knees to pray for them.
When the Holy Spirit begins to transform our vision, we can no longer look at a person who is of a different race than we are and treat them differently than Jesus would. We’ll see them as Jesus sees them.
When the Holy Spirit begins to transform our vision, we can no longer look at a person of the opposite sex and see someone to lust over. We’ll see someone who is loved by God.
When the Holy Spirit begins to transform our vision, we start seeing people as God sees them. The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son.” We begin seeing people as persons that God loves so much that He gave His only son Jesus. We come to the realization that as we look at people through God’s eyes that we see them as people to be loved, and we point them to Jesus.
As we….embark on a wonderful cycle of transformation. The more clearly we see, the more faithfully we will obey. The more we obey, the more clearly we will see, and over time – the more deeply we will mirror the spirit and life and character of Christ.Gary Thomas – Holy Available
Here is a great prayer to pray
Father God, please transform my eyes from being selfish consumers of personal pleasure, and sanctify them to be your servants of glory. Let them settle on what is pure and true and good, and make them want to turn from whatever is vile. Help me to see with your concern, and awaken me to your perception. I offer my eyes to you as your servants; take them use them, transform the, for you glory. In Jesus’ name. AmenGary Thomas – Holy Available