Friday August 7, 2020
How We See Others
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke 8: 1-3
8 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Who was this woman we know as Mary Magdalene? If you’ve been around the church for any length of time, you probably have heard she was the prostitute Jesus forgave, or she was the prostitute who anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair, etc. This is the rumor, in spite of the fact that the Bible doesn’t refer to Mary of Magdala as a prostitute in any context.
The Bible does say Jesus healed her of seven evil spirits and she then became a member of his entourage with a significant number of other women. Women who contributed their labor, effort and finances to Jesus’ travelling band of misfits. Mary was there to feed and clothe this traveling preacher and his closest followers. She was at the foot of the cross, present when his body was buried and the first witness to the resurrected Jesus.
When I reflect on this misconception of Mary, I remember we often let the opinion of others and the myths that others share, shape our opinion of other people. We tend to not take the time or put in the effort to find out for ourselves who these people really are, up close and personal. Sometimes it’s just easier to settle, but then I stop to remember what would Jesus do?
How do you see others? Do you see them with your own eyes or through the eyes of others? Do we look at them through the lens of gossip or stereotype or do we see them through the eyes of Jesus, as children of God? Jesus died for this person too. In this time of division, we need to ask ourselves what are the lenses we see through? Are those lenses colored or distorted by assumption, bias and/or characterization? I pray we take the time to choose the lens of Jesus, of love.
Prayer for Today
Dear God, may I see others as you see them. May I see others through the lens of the incarnation, crucifixion and the resurrection , after all, Jesus died for everyone, not just those we agree with or like. Amen
The First 15
Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.