Summary: Jesus gives us a new and winning perspective for life
A Winning Perspective
Vince Lombardi once said: Winning isn’t the most important thing, but the will to win is everything
Our society seems to be obsessed with winning. If you doubt me, go watch a little league ball game or junior soccer. The parents are more into the games than the children. Winning is indeed an obsession. For many people winning means to be the very best. Sports seem to give us some prime examples of this.
The NCAA tournament and the Final Four is college basketball’s highest point of competition. Every team that makes it to the final four must win 4 games to get there, if they lose in the final four are they losers because they lost one out of four? Most people would say yes, the difference between winning and losing is perspective. Keeping and maintaining a proper perspective is what makes us winners in life. What does it take to have a winning perspective? It takes hard work, determination, and a good attitude.
Perspective has been defined as the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance. The perspective that we have as Christians is that anything is possible for God. Our perspective is changed by the work and actions of Jesus.
“Winners have the ability to step back from the canvas of their lives like an artist gaining perspective. They make their lives a work of art / an individual masterpiece.” Dennis Waitley
Jesus gives us a model for having a victorious perspective. Look at all of the events in the life of Jesus and you will see one aspect shine through; His powerful perspective. Think about that for just a moment. Here are just a few moments from the gospels that reveal a winning perspective.
Jesus called Matthew to be a disciple when he was still a tax collector
Jesus slept in the middle of a storm on the sea
Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter when he acts more like a pebble than a rock
Jesus went to the home of Lazarus three days after he died
Jesus went to the home of Zacheaus
Jesus forgave those who crucified Him
Jesus kept a positive perspective about people and about the events unfolding around Him. Jesus knew that God the Father was in control of His future and that He could not be in better hands. Nothing was going to happen to Him without God’s consent. The same is true of your life as well.
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." 16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." 17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. 18 "Bring them here to me," he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Jesus had a winning perspective
Just about everything in life is a matter of perspective. As these events unfold, Jesus hears the news about John the Baptist being killed. John was Jesus’ cousin, ministry predecessor and personal friend. The news of his death would have been an emotional blow. Jesus needed some time to grieve and tried to get away from the crowds to be alone. Jesus wanted some time to mourn and to pray. In an effort to do this Jesus crosses to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
The crowds saw that Jesus was leaving and they followed Him to the other side. Jesus drew people to Him like a magnet and this moment is no exception. The people needed Jesus and so they followed Him. The crowds were literally waiting for Jesus when He reached the other side.
When Jesus saw the crowds of people, I wonder if He wasn’t tempted to send them away. This was most definitely not part of His plan. Remember he left the other side to be alone and now He is once again surrounded by crowds of people. There were again more people to take care of and more people to make demands on His time. Most of us would have asked people to leave and got the time we needed alone. Instead of turning people away, Jesus ministered to their needs. Jesus revealed the depth of His compassion and the power of His perspective.