Summary: challenge our perspective of people

What do we look for and what do we see in people?

Text: Mt. 11:1-9


1. Consider some of the statistics about attractive people

2. Jesus asks a good question in Mt. 11:7

What did you go out to see?


A. John the Baptizer was in prison and sent disciples to ask Jesus

if he was the one or should they look for someone else

B. Jesus responded with what he was doing, i.e. in essence the

work of the Messiah

C. When John’s disciples left, Jesus asked the crowd this very

question: what do you look for? What do you see?

1. when you went looking for John, what were you looking for?

2. what did you expect to find?

a. a reed flowing in the wind? An unstable, here-today-gone-

tomorrow personality?

b. a man in fine clothes? Those are in palaces?

c. did you expect weakness? Someone to approach and

listen to?

d. perhaps a prophet? Yes, his that and more…


A. We have all kinds of assessments to help us find the right

person and know about them:

1. personality assessments

2. aptitude assessments, career tests

3. intelligence tests

4. psychopathology instruments

B. What people often look for:

1. a “soul mate”

2. someone to blame for their life

3. someone as a way out of a difficult time

4. someone to take advantage of: P.T. Barnum:

There’s a sucker born every minute

5. some see only problems in others

6. some see no one to trust

7. some are naïve and only see the good

8. some see only what they want to see

C. In the Biblical text:

1. In his jealousy, Cain saw a threat in Abel

2. Joseph’s brothers say arrogance and a threat

3. Saul saw a threat in David and tried to kill him

4. Saul saw in Goliath a ‘no-win’ situation

5. the disciples saw a theological problem Jn. 9

6. Simon the Pharisee saw only a sinful woman Lk. 7

7. Paul saw a coward in John Mark, Ax 15:36-39

D. Many times we see what we look for and thus miss the person:

1. we see different,

2. we see socioeconomic class

3. we see strange, tattoos, pink and green hair, no hair, etc.


A. He sees the whole person

1. a creature created in his image/likeness Gen. 1:26

2. an eternal soul II Cor. 4:16-18

3. Nathanael Jn. 1:47 Jesus saw him: here is a true Israelite

in whom is nothing false”

4. Lk. 16:15 “Then he said to them, “You like to appear

righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this

world honors is detestable in the sight of God.”

B. He sees the need of man:

1. Mt. 9:35-36 “ Jesus traveled through all the towns and

villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and

announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he

healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the

crowds, he had compassion on them because they were

confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

2. several times “he had compassion…”

3. Mt. 11:28-30—“come to me all you who labor and are

burdened with heavy burdens, I will give you rest…”

4. Mt. 23:37—“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem…

5. Rom. 3:9-18, 21-26 God saw and met our need

C. He looks for someone to carry out his will:

1. Joseph—Gen. 50:20--You intended to harm me, but God

intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I

could save the lives of many people.

2. David—

a. when Samuel went to find a king

Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is

the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t

judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected

him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.

People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks

at the heart.”

b. when Saul was rejected

But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought

out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already

appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you

have not kept the Lord’s command.”

3. Jeremiah: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s

womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed

you as my prophet to the nations.”

4. John the Baptizer, revealed in Isa. 40 and Mal. 3—confirmed

by Jesus.

5. Mt. 28:18-20, Mk. 16:15, Ax. 1:8---God still sees, seeks and



1. We miss opportunities to share God’s love and have relationships because our vision is so often too narrow.

2. It is challenging, but we need to let God correct our vision of others, and see them as God sees them. His is the true standard

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