Looking Beyond

Scripture Reading — Luke 19:1-10

The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. — Luke 19:10

Can you imagine a person graduating cum laude from college with a teaching certificate but being turned down from a teaching job 24 times? That’s what happened to Brad Cohen, a man with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder resulting in involuntary repetitive movements and barking sounds. He was eventually hired at the 25th school where administrators looked beyond the disability and saw Brad’s gifts as a teacher. Brad eventually became a very successful teacher and a motivational speaker. His autobiography became a bestseller and was made into a heartwarming movie called Front of the Class.

Jesus paid special attention to people who were overlooked. Jesus noticed short Zacchaeus up in the sycamore-fig tree and reached out to him. On another occasion, though his disciples rebuked a blind man who had called out to Jesus, the Lord called him out and restored his sight (Mark 10:46-52). At another time, Jesus also healed a woman who had been bleeding, and he made sure her faith was recognized (Matthew 9:20-22).

Christian love demands that we see beyond the superficial, that we make special accommodations for people who need them, and that we value the contributions of everyone. Jesus put it quite simply: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

Prayer

Lord Jesus, teach us to see all people as you see them—fellow creatures worthy to be redeemed and transformed through your gift of life for us. In your name, Amen.