This Sunday glean is from a message I heard at Christ Fellowship Church online service. August 2016. It was given by Christine Caine. It was a message to the church that was very inspiring and God challenging. I will share with you a few things from it that gleaned.
“Sometimes you can be amidst the miracle and not even realize it. Are you looking now but not really seeing Jesus or the people around you?” Christine Caine
Christine began her “Message To The Church”, by say that there is a lot of stuff that comes and goes, but this Word today it is eternal and unshakeable. She asked us to turn to Luke 7:36-44 as she read it aloud.
Jesus Is Extraordinarily Controversial
Christine began by drawing a contrast to how quiet things were for 400 or so years and then God broke the silence arriving on scene in a huge way starting with His speaking to Zachariah and then Mary, the mother of Jesus and then a lot of crazy, controversial and extraordinary things happened in the first 7 chapters of Luke. The Immaculate Conception, and the birth of the Savior, Jesus.
Christianity Is A Crazy Wonderful Adventure
Christine shared with us a picture of the memorable and most controversial Jesus at twelve years old. She said that Jesus’ mother lost Him. Can you imagine, His mother has lost God? Jesus turns up at the temple teaching and amazing the teachers. Then later on in His life, He returns to the temple and reads the scripture in Isaiah 61, the prophecy about Himself. And then very simply after reading, Jesus sat down and significantly said: “Today the scripture is fulfilled in your midst.” Wow, he dropped a big one on them right then. Then He goes and does everything He said He would do. By the time we get to Luke 7, Jesus is already extremely controversial and extraordinary in that special way of His. It was crazy as Christine said, Jesus announces that He is the one Who will fulfill the scripture. We need to embrace all the crazy, because Christianity is a crazy wonderful adventure.
No Self-Righteous Attitudes
There were many things in this passage of scripture that Christine brought to our attention. Why did the Pharisee invite Jesus to dinner? Was it to embarrass Him, try to prove Him wrong, because the Pharisee’s were famous for doing that and also pointing out that everyone was a sinner in contrast to them, they were religiously perfect. I am thinking at this point, aren’t we really quick to label people with sin titles that objectify them with our own self-righteous attitudes? Simon wasn’t exactly hospitable to Jesus, so you have to wonder about his motive for inviting Jesus to dinner. Christine pointed out to us that Simon the Pharisee broke every cultural mandate of His time to disrespect Jesus that night at dinner.
Smugness Is Foolishness At Its Best
Simon’s attitude towards Jesus was so sarcastic. Christine made sure that we focused on this and really pinpointed how he treated Jesus so rudely and did not uphold even one of the customs of hospitality they had in those days for those who visited their homes. He was thinking so smugly about Jesus, “If this man were a prophet… He would know”. How arrogant and self-righteous is that? Wow! Little did Simon know that His very Creator had just read his mind. Who was the fool?
Deceptive Trickery Is Impure Motives At Their Worst
Christine talked about a woman labeled to be of “ill repute” who just happened to come into Simon’s house. A Coincidence? Who had told her about Jesus being there and what was their motive in wanting her to show up? Why did the people not ask her to leave? I am thinking in that interesting human condition kind of way, that maybe the Pharisee Simon was using this woman to trip Jesus up, to make Him look bad. The Pharisee’s often did this to Jesus, tried to prove that He was doing things that were wrong. Why was the woman there? How did she know where Simon’s house was? Had she been there before?
Jesus Knows Our Thoughts
Christine pointed out the miraculous way that Jesus actually heard Simon’s thoughts and answered his thought that was not even spoken out loud. Christine showed us the foolishness of Simon as she shared with us that Simon, who thought he knew everything, had no clue that he had the Creator of the universe sitting in his living room. Aren’t we totally like that at times too. We have no clue that Jesus is with us when we buck up our independent will. Not only is He with us, but He is also reading our mind thoughts. Maybe we would think and do a whole lot differently if we actually lived out what we believe about Jesus being Omnipresent. We look at the scripture, but we don’t see the truth or live by it.
“You thought the bible was boring. By the time you get to Luke 7 Jesus is unbelievably controversial. Jesus calls her “this woman” He does not label her by her sin, but dignifies her, calling her as she was, not as what she had done.” Christine Caine
I Have Something To Say
“Jesus answered Him: Simon I have something to tell you.” Things get pretty interesting and controversial as Jesus confronts Simon with a story and points out to Simon in a parable all the ways that that he had disrespected Him and the ways the woman did not disrespect Him, but embraced Who He was. Christine then read again what she called the “key message” of this scripture in Verse 42, where Jesus highlighted to Simon exactly what He is saying to His church today.
Are You Looking But Not Seeing?
Christine pointed out to us that there is a huge difference between looking and seeing. She said we are a people obsessed by looking at social media. We have a generation who is looking through everything. We are looking but we are not seeing. We flip through social media posts for hours, looking and liking and we truly see nothing. We are so like the blind Pharisee who had the Creator of the Universe sitting at His table, but He did not really see Him. Jesus tried to tell Simon that he had been looking at her for a long time, marginalized her, categorized her, labeled her, but had not really seen the flesh and blood person, the woman. Jesus dignified her, Simon marginalized her.
“Our generation is schooled on looking but not seeing. We are the most over stimulated generation in history. If we are missing seeing people, are we missing seeing Jesus? There is a direct correlation between us seeing people and seeing Jesus. We look, we objectify, label, and categorize, but we don’t “see”. We are supposed to be in the world but not of it, yet we marginalize, we gossip, we slander. Jesus is saying to us today: Stop looking and talking and ‘see’.” Christine Caine
Are You Blind? Do You See?
The blindness that Jesus was addressing was shattered by the truth He shared about the person who forgives little, loves little. We see the truth played out in the scripture as unlike Simon, Jesus dignified the woman and called her as she was, not by what she did and then He forgave her. Jesus confronted the Pharisee by showing him that he did not even know what he was looking at or what he was not seeing. He was blind to her and he was blind to Jesus.
“Jesus ask Simon the same question He is asking the church today. ‘Do you see this woman’? We look, look and look but end up seeing nothing. ‘Church, do you see’? Stop objectifying, marginalizing, labeling and categorizing and truly see. Church, do you see a broken and lost humanity? We don’t even know what we are blind too, but if we are missing people, are we not also missing Jesus? There is a direct correlation between us seeing people and us seeing Jesus.” Christine Caine
Cliff Notes To Christianity
Christine explained to us that Jesus had made it easy for us by summing up and speaking the “Cliff Notes To Christianity” in Matthew 22:34-40. The revelation to all of us was grasped as she shared the truth that the degree to which we don’t see our neighbor or love our neighbor is the degree we don’t love or see Jesus. I am thinking you could hear a pin drop after she challenged the Church with that truth.
“We are looking and we are not seeing and we don’t even know what we are missing. We don’t even know what we are not seeing. Sometimes we don’t even know what we can’t see. We need to change our lenses because our spiritual glasses have become dim. We must start seeing because we have a world that is dying to be seen, spiraling out of control, doing outrageous things, because they want people to see them, know them and it should be the church that sees them. God is waiting for His church to go from looking to seeing, seeing our brothers and sisters who are suffering. Do you look or do you “see”? Jesus is waiting for His church to go from looking to seeing. We must start seeing each other created in the image of God, created with God given potential and destiny. If we don’t see, no one else will. When you see, you can never un-see again.” Christine Caine
Got A Loop Hole?
Christine then shared with us a very timely and revealing piece of scripture from Luke 10 about the Good Samaritan and then she brought it home to us that we all look for “loop holes”. We don’t really want to be inconvenienced to see people that are not like us, who take us really far out of our comfort zone. Surely God would not want us to get involved with people who don’t seem to be anything like us? Besides, we are way too busy for something that is that far over our head. We are preoccupied with activity and looking but not seeing and we need Jesus to change that up.
“Go and do likewise is what Jesus said. The Levite and the priest were good Christian people, but they were so busy going to their next religious activity that they saw the man as an interruption to their ministry, not the person being the object of their ministry. Are people an interruption to your ministry instead of the object of it?” Christine Caine
Are You The Samaritan
Christine pointed out the correlation between Jesus’ miracles and compassion. She showed us that every miracle Jesus did, was prefaced by an outpouring of His compassion. When Jesus looked, He saw with compassion and He acted out of it, He saw. Christine challenged us with the question: Do you think we are the Samaritan? Or we more like the Levi and the Priest who were good Christian people, but so very busy going to their next religious activity that they saw the man hurt on the side of the road as an interruption to their ministry and not the object of it. We do all have things to do, things to acquire and we are all pretty much preoccupied with life. All three looked but only 1 saw.
“We have confused compassion with emotion. Compassion is never compassion until you get personally involved. Are you looking but not seeing? We are not willing to be personally interrupted and inconvenienced, so we don’t see. The reason we, the Church, are not having the impact that we could have on this earth is because we are not willing to be personally interrupted and inconvenienced. We can no longer palm it off to someone else to care. Jesus is saying to us that we have confused emotion with compassion. Compassion is never compassion until you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get personally involved.” Christine Caine
Objectified You Look, But Don’t See
Christine went deeper to explain it so we could grasp it better about looking but not seeing. She said when people look at pornography, they are looking at what they have objectified, so they are not really seeing. But if they saw the people as someone’s daughter, someone’s son, then they would no longer be able to watch it.
Moved With Compassion
Christine gave us a great picture of compassion by showing us what it meant in the greek: Splag-Cmni-zomai, is to feel with from your inward parts. We see the same thing in Jesus as He was moved with compassion. Christine shared with us from her heart telling us that we don’t need a Christianity of religious rituals, we need compassion and we need to get it in our gut where it actually impacts us.
“God is saying He needs His passion and compassion back into His church where we weep for a broken world and go out in the world bringing His light, compassion and healing to a dark world filled with wounded and dying people. We have to remember the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.” Christine Caine
Christine then brought out a very interesting observation about compassion fatigue. It is taxing emotionally to deal with trauma and drama. She shared that you can very often get compassion fatigue when you are working with people during tragedies. In order to be able to cope, you detach. She said some of the symptoms of it are that we turn up in our body, but we are really not there, we detach ourselves so nothing touches us deeply. Christine believes that a degree of compassion fatigue has hit the church and we are detached, looking but not seeing. Could it be as Christine has shared today that we, The Bride of Jesus Christ, have taken the emotion out of our Christianity, we don’t see people, we only see situations? Jesus was so filled with compassion that when He was dying on the cross with a sword in His side, He was still reaching for the lost.
“Jesus said you go and do likewise. Our world is spinning out of control, but we are not, our world is hopeless but we are not. Christ’s compassion in us is what will bring hope to our communities and healing to our world around us. We were born for this. It takes a lot of work to invest your heart to truly love a lost and dying world. Open your eyes and look to the fields, we have to start seeing the harvest fields. Open your eyes, the harvest field is ripe for harvest. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field.” Christine Caine
Christine closed out her message to The Church by reminding us that we don’t lack in Christians, biblical teaching, access to the bible, discipleship resources, Christian music, Christian media, Christian churches, but there is one lack, Christian workers. She reminded us about Ephesians 2:8-10 that we were saved by Grace, yes, but we are also God’s workmanship created for good works.
Illuminate God’s Light
It is a good work to go into a lost and dying world, this is our hour to rise up. It is a good work to see a lost and broken world with compassion and action. It is a good work to be kind in a world that is mean, to have joy in a joyless world, to be hope to the hopeless. It takes good work to love your neighbor as yourself. We need to be God’s salt and light, His Church in a lost and broken world that has the compassion in their gut to bring hope to a hopeless people. Go and find some darkness and shine. It doesn’t matter about the magnitude of darkness around you, it is about the Light in you that can illuminate a lost and dying world. This is our day, this is our hour to be salt and light, let’s shine a light to a lost and dying world. We were born for this in Jesus Name.
Jesus Sees You, You Matter To God
Christine challenged us to stop looking and start seeing and engaging like the salt and light Jesus has called us to be. We need to take God’s forgiveness to people. Yes, we need to share with people that God can forgive someone like you, who has done so many things wrong because it is not about what you have done, it is all about what Jesus has done for you. We need to tell people that Jesus sees them, that they matter to God. People want to know how to get a fresh start, they want to know how to be forgiven from their past so it no longer defines them, they want to move from religion to relationship, from hopelessness to hope and from darkness to light. Be the One to point them to Jesus, share His message of life and truth with them.
Point People To Jesus
People have backslidden from God and they desperately want to stop running in the wrong direction, they want to turn and fully face God, recognize their need for Him, get their sins forgiven, accept Jesus’ way, truth and life. People desperately desire a fresh start, putting Jesus first in their lives. Will you see them, will you point them to Jesus, will you walk with them to the foot of His cross and bow down with them, being available to them as they learn to become a follower of Jesus Christ, every single day for the rest of their lives.
Go, Impact Your World With The Love And Message Of Jesus Christ…
I hope you enjoyed your meal at The Smorgasbord Table. You never know what meal topic you might find on this Smorgasbord Table in The Bridegroom’s Café. Jesus likes to talk and teach about so many things and it is great to sit and listen to Him. In fact your life can be an adventure that leads you to many different journeys in your constant conversation with God. Enjoy this meal on “Sunday Glean”. Please also share this post with all of your social media by using the buttons below and leave a comment, it is always good to add your experiences and wisdom to bless and encourage others. I also highly encourage you to get a copy of my book: The Bridegroom’s Voice. It is a God encouragement that will strengthen your faith, getting you into the Word of God and hearing His Voice daily. I promise you will increase in relationship with God and “flesh out” your soul, giving you a better spiritual ear to hear God clearly. God bless you MUCH! KimberlyMac