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Message preached at Rochford Congregational Church
On Sunday 22nd January 2017
Title: “Seeing through Jesus’ eyes”
Scripture Passage: Luke 20.45- 21
“The eyes have it”!
Your eyes are amazing. Among the many amazing facts about eyes are the following:
- Your eyes start to develop two weeks after you are conceived
- To protect our eyes, they are positioned in a hollowed eye socket, while eyebrows prevent sweat dripping into your eyes and eyelashes keep dirt out of your eyes
- Your eyeballs stay the same size from birth to death, while your nose and ears continue to grow.
- An eye is composed of more than 2 million working parts.
- 80% of our memories are determined by what we see
- A fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, but an iris has 256, a reason retina scans are increasingly being used for security purposes.
What we see affects us greatly.
The Gospel writers recorded for us eye-witness accounts of the things that Jesus said and did (Luke 1.1-4)
We see through the eyes of others…
We see the world “through Jesus’ eyes…”
Luke records how Jesus said the eye is the window to the soul (Luke 11.34-36)
Robert Powell played the part of Jesus in “Jesus of Nazareth” with piercing blue contact lenses.
(Though the Bible tells us Jesus had no beauty to attract us)
I want to reflect on incidents in Jesus life and ministry “through Jesus’ eyes”
For Jesus saw things differently – he saw things perfectly – he knew / he saw the heart behind the action.
Our passage shows that very clearly.
The Setting: The Temple Courts, Jerusalem
What was the Temple to Jesus?
– His Father’s House
– A House of prayer
– A place to teach
But it was also the home of his chief opponents – who had made it a “den of robbers”.
Despite this Jesus did not “boycott” the place but it became a “battleground” for the Gospel truth (20.1)
He taught – they questioned – he replied.
They didn’t like his reply and sought to arrest him.
They sent spies to keep an eye upon him (20.20)
They questioned him some more.
They tried to trap him – but failed in their aim.
He spoke out against his opponents and their ways.
It was like a spiritual game of chess!
Despite the battle – he remained resolute and focused as discover in Luke 21.1-4
He saw from a:
- Restricted view
“As Jesus looked up” (v1a)
It was the norm for a Rabbi to teach while seated.
Jesus taught in the Temple courts.
He taught like no other – after all He is the Truth.
Jesus was confronted by the “experts”
Traps were set. Hypothetical questions aimed at bringing him down.
There was much on his mind – much to consider – but he did not let these things hinder his view of what was going on around him.
It is easy to lose our focus upon others – to get caught up in our own little world, especially when facing challenging circumstances.
Jesus “restricted view” was only because of his seated position.
He now is seated at the Father’s right hand. His view of things is total. He is the sovereign Lord.
As He looked up He saw:
- A common sight
“Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the Temple treasury” (v1b)
We live in a world where people like to be noticed.
People like to be different – but not too different!
Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame?
Jesus warning against “celebrity status”
The “Teachers of the Law”
– Flowing robes
– Greeting all
– Most important seats
– Lengthy prayers – verbal masterclass
– (Devour Widow’s houses?)
How different was Jesus lifestyle?
Jesus warned his disciples – in the hearing of all (v45)
Jesus didn’t speak against riches – like some Robin Hood figure. Abraham was rich for example.
He spoke about / against “ostentation”.
The rich gave their gifts to be seen.
We are not to let our right hand know what our left hand is doing when it comes to giving – in other words don’t announce it to the world.
Jesus didn’t cry out on street corners – “Come and watch this miracle!”
He went about doing good. Sometimes it wasn’t even clear what he had done.
He only did what He saw the Father doing.
In the same way – we must do things Jesus way.
- A different focus
“He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins” (v2a)
Jesus notices the marginalised and overlooked
What a contrast to what had gone before?
For the crowd, the show was over as the big cheque was handed over and the photograph taken!
Jesus sees the little things that others don’t see.
Two copper coins – would that really make much difference to the Temple accounts?
She was a poor widow didn’t she need them more?
How did Jesus know her?
Was her poverty evident in her clothes?
Had Jesus spoken with her?
- His deeper insight
“This poor widow has put in more than all the others” (v3)
Jesus saw the portion – and proportion involved in the giving.
Jesus wasn’t just perceptive of circumstances but of intention and motive.
He knew the evil intent of his questioners.
He saw the devotion in the sacrificial giving of this woman.
He knows what we do and why. He knows how we give.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” (Churchill)
Living is about giving.
When we hold on too tight we lose.
We are stewards of what God has given for his purposes and glory.
Whether great riches or widow’s mites – does the Lord have our pockets as well as our hearts.
The two go together.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart will be also” (Matthew 6.21)
“The World through Jesus eyes…”
Giving is not about amounts but attitude
Our Lord had nowhere to lay his head (homeless) yet he gave the most anybody has ever given – his perfect life as a sacrifice for our sin.
How do you see riches?
How do you see the rich (successful) and the poor (losers)?
When it comes to giving what, measure do you use?
“I want to worship the Lord with all of my heart
Give him my all and not just a part…”
Let us look carefully at this widow – and hear our Lord’s conclusion:
“This poor widow has put in more than all the others”
Let us give our all – great or small – to Jesus.
You would be very welcome to join us at one of our Sunday Services at 11am and 6.30pm to find out more about Jesus. This message was one of three messages which reveal Jesus sees and cares for the insignificant and suffering in society.
You may be important and enjoying life but you still need Jesus to enjoy the fullness of life He alone can give.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, and however your life is going Jesus sees you and wants the best for you. Put your trust in him and you will see things differently “through Jesus’ eyes”.
Rev. Andrew Leach
Canewdon Congregational Church, High Street
1st & 3rd Sunday of each month @ 9am
Paglesham Congregational Church, East End
3pm (2nd and 4th Sundays)