Note: You may or may not have noticed it has been many months since I last posted on Bread for the Bride. My absence has been due to a long period of very poor health. If my health allows I hope to continue sharing articles, but none of us know for certain what the days ahead will hold. Many thanks to those who have inquired and for those who continue to pray for me. I am deeply grateful.
How can we see what God sees?
There was a woman, a notorious sinner, who approached Jesus during a dinner party in the home of Simon the Pharisee. She came weeping, kneeling to bathe His feet with her many tears. Kissing His feet and wiping her tears away with her hair, she then proceeded to anoint Him with a costly fragrant ointment. She spoke nothing. Her tears and her dramatic yet genuine actions said all that was necessary. She left having been forgiven of her sins, no doubt with the words of Jesus burning deeply within her: “Your faith has saved you, go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50).
Simon the Pharisee, who had invited Jesus to dinner, was far from impressed. He would much rather the woman should be exposed for the sinner that she was and Jesus refuse to have anything to do with her. Her presence offended him, her actions offended him, but more than anything he was offended that Jesus was not offended. As a result, he decided Jesus could not be the holy man people said He was, otherwise He surely would have rebuked this sinner and sent her packing rather than allow her to touch Him. The gap between what Jesus saw and what Simon the Pharisee saw could not have been wider. The Pharisee saw only sin; Jesus searched beyond the sin and saw a beautiful brokenness.
The woman’s demeanour is one of wholehearted surrender. In her actions we may even see a reflection of the Lord’s own heart. She comes to Him in brokenness. He came to be broken for us and through His brokenness redeemed, restored, healed and elevated us to Life, abundant and eternal. She washes His feet with her tears, considering Him worthy of her deep sorrow. He washed us with His own Blood, judging us worthy of the cost and humiliation He suffered in shedding that Blood. She humbles herself, wiping His road-weary feet with her own hair. He, though the Son of God, humbled Himself, coming in human flesh and calling Himself Son of Man.
We know that God seeks out people after His own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). It’s no wonder, then, that Jesus connected immediately with this woman named only as a sinner. He saw the sin of course, for He said her sins were ‘’many”. But He saw far more than her sin. He saw into the deepest places of her heart, and what He saw pleased Him immensely, for she ‘’loved much”.
Simon the Pharisee missed seeing what Jesus saw. Too often I too have missed seeing the person Jesus sees. Perhaps you’ve had that experience also? Others, including Jesus’ disciples, also missed it big time on several occasions:
Where they saw an unruly crowd, He saw needy people seeking a Shepherd (Matt. 9:35-38; Mark 6:34-44)
Where they saw only a nuisance, He saw building blocks of the Kingdom (Matt. 19:13-15)
Where they saw poverty, He saw true worship (Luke 21:1-4)
Where they saw a despised Gentile, He saw true faith (Matt. 8:5-13)
Where they saw a lawbreaker, He saw an opportunity for God to be glorified (Luke 13:10-17)
Where they saw death, He saw Life (Mark 5:35-43)
How then can we learn to see what God sees? Not by striving to imitate Jesus, for we will fail. The one and only thing we can do to become Christ-like is to allow Him pre-eminence in every aspect of our lives. As He takes His rightful place in each of us the Holy Spirit will do the work of re-creating us in His image (2 Cor. 3:18). We will “grow up in all things into Christ”, desiring what He desires, loving what He loves and seeing as He sees (Eph. 4:15).
The broken ones of this world are all around us but so often they are hidden beneath ugly layers of woundedness, bitterness, anger, rebellion, immorality and sinful lifestyles. To recognise the brokenness in another we must first have tasted brokenness for ourselves. To look past the sin and see the true heart in another, we must first have encountered the One who came to heal the brokenhearted.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, God, you will not despise” the scripture tells us (Psalm 51:17). Let us offer up to our Father the beautiful aroma of our own experience of brokenness, that we may be vessels of healing and redemption to those seeking forgiveness and reconciliation to God. And when the angels of God look in wonder and awe at the Bride of Christ may they say of her: “What a beautiful brokenness”.
For this is what the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, says: “I dwell in a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit, in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Is.57:15
© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2022 and beyond.
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