“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Even though I've worn glasses for most of my life, I still remember the day I put on my first pair. I couldn't make out the words on the chalkboard from my seat in the back of Mr. Holt's second-grade classroom. He recognized my hesitation answering questions and attempting to read what he had written and recommended to my parents that I get my eyesight checked out.
Sure enough, my vision was shoddy and I needed some spectacles. As soon as I slipped them on, my whole world came alive. Everything was now clear and vivid. I noticed small details of things I never noticed before. Thanks to two small pieces of glass my entire perspective had changed.
Our vision matters a great deal because what we see influences what we do. Jesus understood this principle better than anyone. Today's passage comes from Jesus' longest recorded sermon, most commonly referred to as The Sermon on the Mount. Over and over again, Jesus would hammer home a point with "You have heard it said (regarding a particular law), but I tell you."
Every time He spoke His goal was to turn that person's world upside down.
He pointed His audience away from religion and set their eyes on a relationship. He spoke in great detail about our attitudes towards God and others. Actions were still important, but He didn't want half-hearted obedience done out of obligation, pride, or duty. Jesus didn't lower the bar of the law, but rather raised it and fulfilled it through Himself. Everything centered on the command to love God and allowing that connection to fuel our love for everyone else.
When we come to Jesus, everything changes, especially our perspective.
The disruption that occurs influences the way we see the world as well as our part in it. Jesus desires to disrupt our worldview to the point we start viewing everything with Kingdom eyes.
Where do you need to see your faith with fresh eyes?
What would it look like to view this situation with Kingdom eyes?
God, I desire to see my surroundings from Your perspective. Open my eyes to opportunities to make an impact, leave an impression and love boldly. I will serve You out of the overflow of my heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.