Seeing People Through Jesus' Eyes

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: July 12 – 18

Texts: James 5:19, 20; Luke 15:6; Zephaniah 3:17; John 7:37, 38; 1 Timothy 2:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15

 

A set of new eyes is traveling to Mars in a couple weeks. Mastcam-Z is the name of an 8.8-pound mast-mounted camera with powerful zoom function that will be set on the top of the Perseverance rover for the Mars 2020 mission from NASA. It’s truly a set of “eyes” because it is two cameras set apart by 9.5 inches and will provide stereo vision. [1]

The main purpose of the mission is to look for signs of “habitable conditions on Mars in ancient past, and will also search for evidence—biosignatures—of past microbial life.” [2] One of the primary functions of the camera, according to Jim Bell, the principal investigator from Arizona State University, will be to zoom in on rocks and pick out some that might preserve signs of past life. The powerful zoom feature of the camera allows it to see objects as small as a housefly from distances of about 120 yards away.

The Mars 2020 rover mission is also intended to be educational, and pictures from Mastcam-Z will be uploaded onto the web within a few minutes of downlink to Earth.

NASA boasts, “Mastcam-Z shows us the entire scene around the rover. It can look around in a full 360-degree circle and a full 180 degrees, from straight down to straight up. It also ‘sees’ in color and 3D (stereo).”

This week’s Sabbath school lesson, entitled “Seeing People Through Jesus’ Eyes,” encourages us to connect to the powerful vision capabilities of Christ to view others from a whole new perspective. The eyes of the Savior can not only zoom in on the most remote person in the farthest reaches of the universe, but are tuned by compassion. Jesus’ all-seeing eyes can look anywhere, including into the minds and hearts of every person.

He can also help others see. The story of a two-step healing process of a blind man in Mark 8:22-26 reveals the persistent love and perseverance of Jesus in helping others see. It is enlightening to focus on Jesus’ healing of the blind. These miraculous recoveries open us to see not only the ability of Christ to restore physical sight, but teach us to look upon others through the eyes of heaven.

As self-focused humans, our short-sighted vision of others limits what we think they might become from our limited perspective. But divine eyes take in the entire scene of a person’s life and heart. God’s look of love doesn’t search for signs of life, but actually gives life and strength to all who would turn their eyes upon Jesus.


For Reflection

Connecting: Share an experience where you saw something one way, but later saw it from a new perspective that changed your conclusions about a situation or person.

Sharing: Read John 4:3-34. How did the perspectives of Jesus and the disciples differ in viewing the Samaritan woman at the well?

  1. The disciples did not even want to pass through Samaria because of prejudice against these people.
  2. Christ willingly engaged in conversation with a woman, something the disciples would never do.
  3. Jesus also spoke with this Samaritan, a person not worth the disciples’ time or interest.
  4. The disciples did not see a person worthy of attention, but Jesus saw a precious child of God who could receive salvation.
  5. The Savior was attuned to this woman’s heart and saw her thirst and desire for true love.
  6. Other…

Applying: Challenge your group this week to, if safe and by following proper distancing guidelines, sit in a public place and observe people. Take brief notes on different people you see. Ask yourself, “Is this person likely open to the gospel?” Then frankly discuss how limited is our vision and how broad is the compassionate vision of Christ.

Valuing: Is the Holy Spirit calling you to see others with heaven’s eyes? Pray with one other person in your group (through texting or by phone, if necessary) and ask for God to heal your spiritual eyesight so that you can view others just as Jesus does.

~ Curtis Rittenour