So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
- 2 Corinthians 5:16
The trickle-down effects of our relationship with Christ continue to unfold in today’s passage.
From a worldly point of view, Christ looked like a failure at the time of Paul’s writing. His reputation with people outside of the church was that of a spiritual teacher and rabble rouser who failed as a reformer and revolutionary. He died in an extremely painful and shame-filled way.
A worldly point of view measures a man by his wealth, his acquisitions, his network, his level of comfort and inner peace. On every measure Jesus looks like a failure. Socrates drank his hemlock quietly in the society of his friends; Jesus sweated blood alone in the Garden and then faced execution.
But those of us who have come to know, love and follow Jesus see something radically different. We see his full story – past his humiliation and death. We see who he became and what he’s doing even to this day. We can’t regard him from a worldly point of view any longer.
And, as a result, we no longer regard anyone from a worldly point of view. If Jesus can rise to new life to extend mercy and compassion on his unfaithful friends and his cruelest enemies, he can change anyone, work through anyone, love anyone. We long to be people who see everyone through the lens of Jesus. But we fall short.
We start measuring, counting, and comparing. The glitter on a wrist or the scent of success distracts us. We slip back into our old, worldly, unhealthy patterns of seeing people. In the corners of our fuzzy vision, racism grows, as does favoritism and an arrogant attitude toward the weak or the different.
Let’s repent today of the ways we slip back into our old ways of regarding people. Let’s ask God to forgive us and to give us new eyes so that our high regard for Jesus overflows into our way of seeing others.