Summary: Others saw misfits and trouble makers. Jesus saw sheep without a shepherd. How we see the people around us

Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister

First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO

Jesus Eyes--People Eyes

Mt 9:9-11; 9:35-38

Introduction: Look around right now? What do you see? We all know that it is possible to hear and not listen. We can all see but not see. We have looked for something, maybe our car keys or worse yet the remote control. We look and look and don’t see it anywhere. We ask our wife or one of the kids where what they did with it now, accusingly. They walk in the room, go over to the coffee table, and point it out. We looked and looked but didn’t see!

Car keys and remote controls are one thing. People are another matter. What do you see?

Bible scholar and author D. A. Carson tells of a time when he and a friend were going to the beach for some much-needed peace and quiet, but when they got there they found a horde of high school kids celebrating graduation with lots of beer, loud music and, shall we say, public displays of affection.

He writes, "Deeply disappointed that my evening’s relaxation was being shattered by a raucous party, I was getting ready to cover my disappointment by moral outrage. I turned to Ken to unload the venom but stopped as I saw him staring at the scene with a faraway look in his eyes. And then he said, rather softly, ’High school kids—what a mission field!’" (D. A. Carson, When Jesus Confronts the World, p.110 (Baker Book House)

That’s the picture behind our text. The NLT condenses the picture a bit. Most other translations maintains the original language a bit closer. The NIV, for example, renders 9:36, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus wasn’t the only one looking and watching that day. But he may well have been the only one to see.

Others saw . . . Disciples---crowds more work

Scribes and Pharisees---sinners and misfits

Politicians and ruthless businessmen---suckers and dollar signs


If we had been there . . . anger, criticism, despair; what did you see when you looked . . .

What Jesus saw:

1. People—

a. Easy to see: customers, faceless crowd

i. City vs small town—people you know

ii. Rich/poor skin color labels

iii. Church—numbers/statistics

b. Jesus knew people---Nathaniel; Zaccheus; Matthew

c. People hungry for recognition

d. Attention, name, touch—hug or handshake

e. Theme to old TV show cheers

Making your way in the world today takes everything you got.

Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name,

And they’re always glad you came.

You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same.

You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

You wanna go where people know people are all the same.

You wanna go where everybody knows your name.

2. People with problems

a. Darkside of small town life—know everybody’s story/past/problems

b. What we see: not people but sins

c. Jesus saw same thing . . but took people “as is”

Are their any other kind---“as is”

d. Compassion: bowel/ deep emotion—felt it “right here”

Harassed (beaten up)

Helpless (beaten down) Life can do that to you . . .

Sheep without shepherds


Defenseless (no weapons)


Herd instinct—

e. The catalogue of miracles…. (chapters 8-9) picture of what we feel powerless before

1. Leper – untouchable

2. Roman officers servant—unwanted oppressor

3. Demon possessed – feared/unrestrained evil

4. Paralyzed man on mat—sin issue (not excuse moral issues)

5. Synagogue leaders daughter/death

6. Storms of nature

7. Women with hemmorage—beyond medical help

8. Mute/blind—cut off from normal life

What do you see . . . .

3. People with potential

Shoe salesman send to survey territory in Africa… no potential; nobody wears shoes

Another: send inventory immediately, no body wears shoes here

Negativity and pessimism tells more about you than your world; If knew what Jesus …


What do you see . . .

1. Enemies—Islam, etc.

2. Poor and hurting; homeless, etc.

3. Pre Christian neighbors

4. Rebellious young people

Churches that don’t have young people, sometimes don’t want !!??

See but don’t see What it’s like—Rainer’s ten fears

People . . . with problems . . . and potential?

What do you do: Jesus job description for his followers . . .

See Pray Work

Conclusion: A seminary professor (Fred Craddock) was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn’t come over here."

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