30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. Luke 10:30-35
I wish this story were different. I wish the priest was distracted and didn’t notice the injured man. I wish the Levite had been steeped in deep thought and simply didn’t see the plight of the injured man. That is not how this story is told. All three of the potential helpers have one thing in common: they all see the injured man. The fact is, they all saw a fellow human in desperate need and two of them chose not to help him.
Seeing the need is often not the issue, is it? We see hurt and pain all the time. But noticing issues is much different then seeking to change them. There is a kind of seeing that allows us to only see and not act. We see with OUR eyes rather then seeing through God’s eyes or another’s eyes. Human eyes are meant to move beyond their animalistic function. The base function of the eyes is to send data to the brain to protect ourselves and navigate the world around us. As image-bearers on the other hand, eyes were meant to help us see and protect all of creation.
The problem is we often use our senses only on our own behalf. It is no surprise when a religious leader sees an injured man as a threat to his religious purity. It’s no surprise that we see the plight of others as a threat to our own world. We go through the excuses for why the things we see will threaten the world we want for ourselves.
Now imagine using your senses for a larger purpose. Imagine a world in which your eyes are an extension of the eyes of Jesus in this world. Our bodies, minds, wills, and even our eyes are tools meant to see and love those around us well. Let us truly see today. Think about how you might be seeing only your needs rather than that of others. After processing that, use a prayer like this to confess and ask God to use your eyes for his good. Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. Give me eyes to see the world as you see it and the wisdom to know how I should act upon what I see. Thank you God for not only seeing my needs but for acting on them through your son Jesus Christ. Amen.
By Aaron Bjorklund