What He Sees
When Jesus met his first disciples, it was an ordinary day.
This is how Mark describes it:
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen… As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. (Mark 1:16, 19)
It was an ordinary day for Simon, Andrew, James and John.
They were just doing what folks had done for generations. Their parents had fished. Their parents had fished. They were fishing.
They were simply doing their jobs and feeding their families. They probably did not see much beyond what they were doing now.
But Jesus saw something very different.
He did not see just fishermen. He saw who they would become. What Jesus saw in them, they would never have imagined for themselves.
Jesus sees you.
But he doesn’t only see who you are today. He sees who you can become. He sees what you can do.
He sees the potential and possibility in you. He sees things in you that you cannot see for yourself. Isn’t that amazing?
Jesus called his disciples:
Follow me and I will make you fish for people. (Mark 1:17)
The disciples thought the extent of their role in life was to catch fish and feed their families. But Jesus was calling them to more.
He was calling them to fish for people. To be a blessing to more people. Jesus was calling them.
Calling is not about finding your passion. It is not about pursuing what you want to do.
Calling is being pulled beyond who you are today to become someone bigger.
Calling is being transformed into a bigger person so that you can bless others.
Jesus did not see uneducated, unsophisticated fishermen. He saw people who would lead others to God with great power.
Jesus sees the potential and possibility in you. He sees gifts that you have not discovered that can be used to bless others.
Learning to Grow Beyond Yourself
The problem is how we see ourselves. We only see who we are today. We see our limits.
I’m not rich. I’m not powerful. I’m not capable. Who I am, and what I have, is not much. The best I can do is to take care of myself and my family.
We see our limitations so clearly. Everywhere we go, we are reminded of our limitations and shortcomings.
There is always someone smarter than me. More attractive than me. More capable than me.
When we compare ourselves to others, we always feel so small. What could I possibly contribute when there are people who are so much better than me?
Our limitations define us. They stop us from doing more. From being more. And we settle to live life within those limitations.
Within those limitations, we stay in our own small world. We don’t grow beyond that. We get very comfortable in it.
Being comfortable is nice. I can’t wait to go on our vacation down south – the first time since Covid. I can’t wait to lie down on a beach chair with my drink and be comfortable.
But only being comfortable doesn’t lead to growth. If you are not growing, you stagnate. Stagnation is the recipe for death. Whether physical death or existential death.
We need to grow. The best way to grow is by serving others. When you serve others, you are forced to grow.
Human relations are the most difficult. You confront someone totally different from yourself.
You have to learn how to understand them. Communicate with them. Connect with them. You have to grow to learn how to do that.
The other day I had lunch with a young adult. She’s struggling with her work right now because of her boss.
The work itself is not that inspiring, but she can live with it. But it’s the people aspect that makes it difficult.
The boss was probably good at this job, or good at getting noticed. But he’s not good with people.
He doesn’t know how to relate or communicate. Or make people feel valued and heard. And that makes life so difficult for those who work with him.
We have to grow so that we can be a blessing to those around us, not a source of burden.
A Journey of Transformation
Let me suggest two concrete ways you can be a blessing to others.
First: learn how to see people and notice them.
Especially those who are less popular or influential. Train your eyes to see them. Notice how they’re doing.
Secondly: learn to see beyond what you see on the surface.
Don’t just see their flaws and limitations. Learn to recognize gifts they might not recognize in themselves. Learn to see their potential.
Learn how to share this with them. You will see what kind of effect that has on them.
Notice them and see what’s special about them. You will be a blessing to those people.
To do that, you need to grow.
When you follow Jesus, you begin a journey of transformation so that you can bless others. Jesus gives you the power to change.
We’ve all heard that Jesus died for my sins. That our sins are forgiven. What does this mean?
It means that Jesus no longer sees your limitations. He doesn’t define you by them.
You are free from past mistakes. Free from guilt. Free from greed. Free from fear. We are free from the shackles of our limitations.
Believing in Jesus and following him is allowing him to make us into the people we are supposed to be.
The worst thing you can do is to limit how you see yourself. That is a great sin!
It prevents change. It prevents growth. It prevents you from becoming the person God created you to be.
Following Jesus is a journey of trust. You place your trust in him to lead you, change you and give you the power you need to go beyond your limitations.
We don’t know where we’re headed when we follow Jesus. We simply trust him and go where he leads.
More Than You Are
My friends, do not limit yourself. God sees you. God sees what is possible in you.
God loves you so much and created you so beautifully. Your life is a beautiful gift to this world.
That is what the psalmist recognized.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:1, 13-17)
You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. You are more than who you are today.
The disciples would never have seen themselves as more than fishermen. But Jesus did. And that changed everything.
Because of what Jesus saw in them, they left their nets and followed him. They transformed from timid, fearful fishermen to become the pillars of a new movement.
They carried on Jesus’ ministry after he left the earth. They received the Holy Spirit and did much more than Jesus himself did.
All because Jesus saw and called them. What a beautiful life it is to follow Jesus!
I am a witness to God’s wonderful power and grace. I have seen God do so many amazing things in my life, and in so many of you.
You are a blessing to this community, and you have the potential to be a blessing to so many others as well. God will continue to do many amazing things in all of you and this church.
Follow Jesus. He will make you a blessing for this world.