One of my favorite truths about God is that He sees me. He sees everything about me, even the darkness of sin that I struggle with, and yet He cares for me enough to die for me, conquer death in His resurrection, and free me from being enslaved to sin. He cleaned me with grace and now I am presented to Him in Christ’s righteousness.
What an honor! How this lowly person can attain the love and grace of God through nothing of my own doing is beyond description. All because He sees me.
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Acts 3:1-10,
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
The thing I love about this passage is that Peter & John saw past the lame beggar’s perceived needs, past his words asking for help, and they saw the person Jesus sees.
This lame man sat at the entrance to the temple, asking for money or food (alms), knowing that many who enter the temple are charitable people. However, many also overlook him because he is “unclean”. When he asked Peter & John for alms, they looked at him and heard his words. Peter directed his gaze at him. Peter was intentional in seeing this man.
Even though they disappointed him by their inability to provide what he asked of them, they saw his real need.
They saw the spiritual bankruptcy in his soul and offered the healing power of Christ, not only for his lameness but also for his spirit. For the first time in his life – remember, he was lame from birth – he was able to walk into the temple and worship God.
What a gift!
This passage reminds me that I need to see people – really see people. They have deeper needs that just what’s on the surface. It’s those needs that only Jesus can meet. I can offer Jesus.