My wife tells the story of getting her first pair of glasses when she was a kid. She didn’t understand why her parents and optometrist thought she needed them, as she had always seen everything perfectly fine. The optometrist was located in a mall, and upon entering the mall she could literally not believe her eyes. Even though she had been to that mall many times, it was as if it was her first time. When they left the mall she was shocked to see all the intricacies of nature, such as birds and insects flying around and leaves swaying in the breeze. Having gone her whole life with poor vision, she had no idea what she had been missing. Now, let me cut some of you off right now and tell you that yes, she was wearing her glasses when she first met me and yes, she did wear them on our wedding day. She married me and loves me even when she can see me with the utmost clarity!
Before getting the correct glass my wife was missing so many of the wonders of the world that we can enjoy only through sight. Once that sense was returned to her she saw the entire world in a completely different way. Here are two questions I want to pose today. First, what needs are you not seeing in the world around you? What are you somehow managing to miss? Second, once you see and understand those needs, how are you willing to change your life to help meet those needs?
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38
It is likely that Jesus visited nearly 200 cities and towns during his life time. Because his fame often went before Him, He was almost always met by crowds. Notice what Jesus saw every time he saw a crowd. He saw needs. He saw people that were lost, broken, hurting, and rejected. He saw people that needed help. Now, notice what He did about it. He didn’t merely judge them, forget about them, or say “well, they’re someone else’s problem.” Instead, He was compassionate towards them. He desired to see their lives and eternities improve. Now, look at the next part. He also saw that there were not enough people meeting those needs. If we look at the world like Jesus did, we are bound to see people with needs everywhere. The challenge is to take concrete action when we see those needs. The reality is, there are more then enough Christians to meet the needs of the world. Statistically speaking, if every Christian reached two people with the gospel during their lifetime, the entire world would be saved! If we all open our eyes to see the needs of the world, and choose to take some type of action, there is virtually no limit to the impact we could all make.