When thinking about living a missional lifestyle, it is not that we don’t have the time or money or desire to live a life sent with the intention of sharing Jesus with others—His love, His life.
The question is do we see them? See who you ask. Them.
Jesus saw them. He didn’t look past them. He noticed them. Had compassion on them. Lived life with them.
Especially because we have a young child, I think about a Bible story told a lot to children. The story of Zaccheus the tax collector. If you aren’t familiar with the story, you can find it in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 19:1ff.
Jesus noticed Zaccheus. Even though he was not in His line of sight. Those with Jesus preferred to not notice this small, disliked man. Yet, Jesus not only saw this man in a tree, He insisted to eat dinner with him. He wanted to do life with him.
If I had been in Jesus shoes, I probably wouldn’t have seen this man in the tree. Why? I would have been focused on myself and all the attention the crowd was paying me. Even if I did see that man, I might have ignored him. Don’t offend all these people that think I am so wonderful. Besides, I have a busy schedule with more important people to see.
Who is it that Jesus sees that I look right past? I think about how I react when someone suggests that I serve someone or participate in a service project. I usually have selfish thoughts—I am too busy; someone else will do that; I have better things to do with my time.
Difference between Jesus and me? He lived life with the intention of seeing other people. He not only saw them, He looked right at them and engaged them, lived life with them.
Who are some of these people that I don’t see?
Yes, we fostered and adopted. God has my attention. But for most of my life I looked past those children without a family. God doesn’t.
Homeless or Poor
Yes, the poor will always be among us. Not a reason to not see them and help meet their needs. There biggest need is not always money. It is respect, value, being seen.
We don’t talk about loneliness much. If someone says, “I am lonely” most common response is, “Why? Get out of your house and hang out with other people!”
Lots of things isolate people. Health, age, shame, insecurity, shyness. Do we see them or blow them off? What about widows? Who visits them?
Who do I know that is brokenhearted, needs freedom?
You might notice people who look different, sound different, act different, think different. But do you really see them? Do you care to understand them? Are you afraid they might “rub off” on you or have a bad influence on you?
Jesus was criticized for spending time with prostitutes, cheaters, foreigners. What am I be criticized for?
Right in front of me
I don’t have to go to the other side of the world or country or even my city to find people who are fatherless, poor, lonely, broken, or different from me. They live in my neighborhood, go to my schools, work in my workplaces, sit next to me on the bus or at the restaurant.
The question is will I see them? Jesus does. What will I do if I see them?
Live life with them? Now that is a missional lifestyle.
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