John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Do You See What He Sees?

There’s a big, long story in John 9 that’s too good to summarize. So, I’m going to go let you read it all before we continue. Go ahead. I’ll wait…. Cue the theme to “Jeopardy”.

Okay, that’s a long story, and it’s hard to figure out how to start. If you’ve read this far, though, you can see that there’s a lot we can get out of this story about how to have conversations like Jesus did and how not to conduct your conversations like the Jewish leaders Jesus railed against did.

How ‘bout we start at the beginning? The very first verse of the chapter says, “As he went along, [Jesus] saw a man blind from birth.”

Here’s a grown man. His parents say he is “of age”. He’s been blind his whole life. He’s spent countless hours begging in the same place day after day. People walked past him all the time without even noticing him. They must have. They don’t even know for certain what he looks like.

It’s easy to do that – to walk past the same people in the same places day after day and never really see them. Most of us do it all the time.

We don’t just do it with people, either. We read over the same Bible verses again and again and miss the message that is only glaringly obvious after it’s pointed out to us by someone else. We can drive through rolling hills or awe-inspiring sunsets, trees and grass and blue sky, rock formations and cloud formations and moving water and miss it all. We have a way of becoming immune to the beauty of creation, the truth of God, the goodness of life, the needs of the people all around us.

We have a way of seeing without seeing. We look past life in all its fullness – all the joy and sorrow – all the mystery and comedy and tragedy that is so close we could reach out and touch it. If we would only open our eyes and see!

Life wasn’t that way for Jesus. He saw. He noticed. He was frequently busy, of course. And he must have been burdened at times with the weight of his assignment. We would understand if Jesus was too pre-occupied with other things to notice one blind beggar.

And yet…over and over in the gospels, it seems like noticing people was the primary thing with which Jesus was pre-occupied.

Part of honoring God is doing what he says. Perhaps it mostly comes down to seeing what he sees.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if I could see as he sees, I would be more likely to do as he says, and the people all around me might start to take notice.