Jesus had a reputation
So how did he do it?
Jesus looked beyond what people were to what they could become. He looked at impetuous, unpredictable Simon and saw Peter, “the rock”. (Matthew 16:18) He saw beyond the hot tempers of James and John to men who would become pillars of the Church. (Mark 3:17). He looked at a demon possessed man and saw an evangelist. (Mark 5:20) How He treated them reflected His belief in what they could become.
So, what’s my attitude toward people who are far from God? Do I view my foul-mouthed co-worker as someone to avoid? Do I wish my substance abusing relative didn’t have my last name? Do I see myself as “better than” or “more together than” my neighbor who has nothing nice to say about church?
Or, do I look past the flaws in people’s lives and envision who they could become if the power of God were released in their lives? Do I see them as diamonds in the rough just waiting for God to polish?
Jesus clearly believed what the angel said to His mother – “… nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). He believed that people could change. That people far from God could be reached. And over the past two thousand years countless lives have been transformed because He chose to look past surface imperfection to see what was ultimately possible.
The question is, “Will we do the same?” Will we view people as Jesus did? Will we intentionally and deliberately reach out to them as He did? Will I? Will you?