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. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make your fish for people.’ (Mark 1:16)
When I was reading this passage this morning, a passage I’ve read more times than I could count, I saw something in it I hadn’t noticed before. Although the phrase “he saw Simon and his brother Andrew” may look straightforward, I now believe and would argue that it isn’t.
What did Jesus see when “he saw” Simon and his brother Andrew? Obviously, He saw two men on the shore casting their nets into the water, but He also saw more. He saw not just who they were but who they could become. In other words, He saw the possibilities, opportunities, and potential of their lives. And even when Jesus would eventually see all the times these two—and all the rest—fell, faltered, foolishly competed, and doubted, He never stopped seeing all that could—and would—happen through them.
How do we see ourselves? When I look at my life, all too often, what I see are my mistakes, my failures, my foolishness, my lack of faith, and my fallen nature. I feel pretty comfortable sharing how I often see myself because I know that I’m not alone.
Think about it for a moment: How do you see yourself? Are you more inclined to see your victories or your defeats, your successes or your failures, your gifts or your deficits? Do you see that you are loveable, forgivable, coachable, or able in any way, or do you believe that you would be shamed, despised, scorned, or rejected if only people really knew you?
When we are feeling down or discouraged, or when we are feeling like we haven’t done what we were meant to do with our lives or that we didn’t accomplish all we had hoped for, or when we see that there is indeed a lot of hurt and disappointment all around us, we must remember that Jesus sees us like He saw Simon and Andrew. He not only sees all the mistakes or messes or convolutions of our lives, but He also sees the potential and the opportunities in our lives. Our hope is not in how we see ourselves. No, our hope is in how Jesus sees us. Which means that we all need to ask ourselves these questions: Whose sight is going to define how we see our lives? Do we want to see with our own negative, punitive, and shaming eyes, or do we want to see our lives through Jesus’ eyes of grace, love, and mercy?
I believe that Jesus can do great things. I believe that Jesus can transform and change us. I believe that Jesus wants us to see ourselves and others like He once saw Simon and Andrew. How He saw them changed their lives. How He sees us can change ours. Learning to see like Jesus will change how we see everything.
- How do you see yourself? Does your seeing need to change?
- How do you see others? Does your seeing need to change?
- If you more often saw yourself and others like Jesus saw Simon and Andrew, how would your life change?