Seeing Like Jesus

God Running is a place for anyone who wants to love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.

Luke 7:11-17

Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Luke 7:11-17

Seeing Like Jesus

There’s a great book about loving like Jesus. Not my book Love Like Jesus but another book titled Love Walked Among Us by Paul E. Miller. I highly recommend it. In this book Paul E. Miller beautifully describes how Jesus would see people. He would see people others didn’t see. Jesus would see people with compassion and empathy others didn’t feel. Our passage from Luke chapter 7 is one such instance.

During that time, in that culture, a widow losing a son was like a woman losing all her financial support. Miller writes it would be like a woman losing all her Social Security and Medicare and retirement. Without her son she would have no family support, and no income.

As Jesus approaches the town gates of Nain he’s followed by a crowd that’s likely much larger than the crowd with the grieving woman’s son’s funeral procession. She lost her son. And the pain is especially deep and intense because this is the second time she’s experienced great loss. She’s a widow so she’s already lost her husband.

As Miller writes, Jewish funerals were usually held at six in the evening so earlier in the day she would have laid her deceased son on the floor and washed him and dressed him in his best clothes. Having a son was a woman’s greatest joy and losing a son was a woman’s greatest sorrow. (Miller pp. 14-21)

But out of the two crowds of people, Jesus sees her. “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her,” we read in our passage.

I have to admit this is the one glaring omission in the Love Like Jesus book I wrote. It makes me wish I had read Miller before I wrote Love Like Jesus.

Jesus saw people in a unique way. He saw them with his heart and soul. Jesus didn’t just see people with his eyes.

Later we see Jesus raise her son from the dead.

I can’t do that. I’m guessing you can’t either.

But I can still see the way Jesus sees.

The other day I heard a father tell his twelve year old son to put his phone away and engage in actively listening to some adults who were in conversation at the dinner table.

“But I’m not interested in what they’re talking about,” the twelve year old said.

“It’s important to listen anyway,” the dad replied.

You and I may not be able to raise anyone from the dead, but we can learn to see people the way Jesus sees people.

One way to accomplish that is to think about what’s most important to the person in front of you in that given moment, and then ask questions about that. Start the conversation with what the other person’s most interested in. Show enthusiasm for the topic. Ask questions.

It will make them feel seen.

“Father, please help me and the dear person reading this right now to untangle ourselves from our own stuff, and help us to lead with what’s on the hearts and minds of the people You put in front of us. Help us to see people the way Jesus saw people, not just with our eyes but with our hearts and souls, with compassion and empathy and enthusiasm for what’s on the other person’s heart and mind. Help us to see people with the compassion and empathy of Jesus.

“In Jesus’ name we ask this of You.



Paul E. Miller, Love Walked Among Us, NavPress, 2014

Image of man having compassion on the homeless by Aaron Alexander — Creative Commons

Available on AmazonLove Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus) Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others. Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:

  • Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
  • How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
  • The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
  • How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
  • How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
  • How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
  • How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
  • How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
  • How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.

With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too. A life of loving like Jesus. (Kindlehardcover, and paperback now available on Amazon.)

One Comment on “Seeing Like Jesus

  1. Thank you. Also recommend a great book by Rabbi Jason Sobel and Kathy Lee Gifford “The God of the Way”

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