[My son, Herbert, joins in posting to this blog today. He is a hardworking computer tech, very proud father of our granddaughter, great husband, helpful neighbor – all flowing from his commitment to the Lord. From time to time his writing will appear here. He has a talent for expression about things eternal. And, of course, I’m a proud father.]
It’s easy to ignore the obvious. The tentacles of life on earth are constantly capturing our attention and blinding us in the process. As blind day-walkers, we are more apt to see nameless faces drifting around like human traffic. What walking in The Light will reveal is the soul behind the face. Jesus saw not only faces, but He was, is, able to know the soul of everyone. All that we need to know is that Jesus died for souls not for faces. When Jesus was in His ministry on earth He saw faces but knew what was more valuable. The eternal soul which was created. This was put to a fine point when he related the value of the eye versus the value of the soul.
And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
To some, this might seem as if it is hyperbole but to Jesus, I believe it was 100% truth. He’s also helping to teach us that we should engage in, at some level, dismemberment of flesh from the soul. He teaches that what is more important is not the external part of our existence but the eternal soul contained within. What are we to make of this statement then when we look at ourselves and others? We take from the statement that what we see can have eternal consequences and we should be respectful of this. We should strive to be considerate of spiritual life at a higher degree than physical life itself. We must strive to let soul, through God’s authority, control flesh and not the other way around. Jesus puts the physical stuff in plain sight and then, very powerfully, says take it out!
If you spend any amount of time considering human nature we tend to dismiss many very wonderful souls we are around simply because of their external appearances. We also, in the opposite manner, are attracted to people who have an acceptable kind of external appearance without respect for what’s inside. We consider what’s possible from a human perspective by what we observe externally rather than considering the soil internally contained inside the heart. How sad is this impartiality that we engage in with little effort? James nails this to the wall for us to observe in James 2:1-13. It’s worth an honest read and then a look into that mirror of self to ask some questions about who we are and how we see other people in our reality and what things we concern ourselves with.
Jesus wasn’t concerned about the aesthetics of our being but rather the nature of our souls. When we spend time thinking about our obligation to reach out to people we must be considerate of how Jesus operated during his ministry. If you pay attention you realize that those who Jesus was seeking were people who had been alienated, abandoned, rampant in sinful relationships, and looked down upon as trash by those who proclaimed, falsely, to be in the high and mighty council of God’s authority; when it would be those very faces Jesus would see staring at him when being accused of crimes he did not commit. We know the rest of this story and what it means to us.
Let’s be honest, Jesus did look at faces but what he mostly saw was the heart and soul of the men, women, and children he was there to provide salvation for. When we walk around seeking and saving the lost we should be more mindful of what’s possible from the internal perspective rather than what’s possible from the external perspective. This means we should not prejudice the outcome even when everything we observe externally validates the prejudice. I fear we have a tendency to embrace the attitude of the Pharisees and look down upon and away from those who Jesus would have been actively moving towards. Remember the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 and the parable of the sower in Matthew 13? Behind the face of every person is a soul that we may be able to reach. We should seek souls not faces.