Sometimes I wonder what Jesus saw when He looked at those that He came in contact with. As we read through the gospels I get the sense that Jesus saw what others chose not to see. He saw the hurting, the outcasts, those forgotten ones of society. He also saw the proud, the hypocrites and the arrogant.
When Jesus looks at a person He looks at the heart and sees through the mask we try so hard to hide behind. Jesus looks with eyes of compassion and love. I love Matthew 9:36, I believe it gives us a good look at the heart of Jesus. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
When the rich young man came to Jesus in Mark 10 seeking eternal life in verse 21 says that “Jesus looked at him and loved him…” Jesus knew this young man would not be able to part from his riches and yet Jesus looked at him, mostly likely with eyes of sadness and compassion and He loved (Agapao) him.
And who can forget Luke 22:61-62 “The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, "Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.” I’ve often thought about this particular look that Jesus gave Peter. What did Peter see? Did he see eyes of disappointment or anger? I don’t think so. I believe He saw the eyes of a Savor that loved him unconditionally. That look I believe completely transformed Peter causing him to weep bitterly at denying His Lord.
Jesus did not come into a town and begin to beat down those already beaten. He didn’t search out those who were the “religious”, no He came into a town and healed, loved and restore the broken, bruised sinner.
I’ve always been struck by how Jesus reacted to the woman caught in adultery. When her accusers all left and no one was left to condemn her Jesus ask her who condemns her when she says no one He then says “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” What? No condemnation, no long lecture on how bad she was? No rejection? Jesus looked at her with eyes of love and compassion and forgave her and told her to sin no more. (John 8:1-11)
What strikes me about Jesus is that with everyone He came into contact with He saw them with eyes of mercy and compassion. He healed their eyes so they could see, their legs so they could walk and raised the dead. Everyone He met loved Him for He treated them with kindness and tenderness. He did not come in judgement, but love.
Except for one group, the religious of the day; Jesus showed very little compassion to those who called themselves “keepers of the Law”. He called them a brood of vipers and hypocrites. Matt 23:33 says "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”
There are many things that run through my mind as I compare Jesus’ reaction to both sinners and the religious of the day. I wonder if Jesus would come to walk among us today which group would I be in.
I pray that Jesus would find me sharing the Love that He has shown me. I pray He would see me helping those the world has forgotten about. I pray He would see me loving as He loved. I pray that my heart would be compassionate toward others and not be proud or judgmental.
I wonder Jesus do I have your heart of compassion and love…