In these days with constant news of terrorism, bombings, and other forms of violence on television and on the internet, it’s very easy to create stereotypes with people we meet. We see a dark-skinned, bearded man with an accent boarding a flight and, right away, we’d think. . . “Hi-jacker” . . . or maybe, “suicide bomber!” A man entering a store wearing a hoodie could easily be seen as a shoplifter or thief.
Sometimes, it’s difficult not to think like this, with these stereotypes but this was no problem for the Lord. Jesus only saw the best of each person whether Nazarene, Israelite or any other. Often, He would even see more good in a person than that person even saw in himself. Christ sees the goodness of God in our spirit. He sees the real us. What would it take for us to start seeing the goodness of God in others?
We need to go beyond what we notice initially. There are deeper levels to every person we encounter. We shouldn’t just rely on first impressions. After the initial niceties and formal salutations, discovering the real person might be quite surprising. We realize that we all want to respect others and have others respect us. Jesus challenges us to level up and love one another, even the ones that we don’t find lovable . . . at the start. Develop the relationship and again be caught off guard in a wonderful way.