To See and Be Seen


The power to see and be seen is more than just opening our eyes.

We easily diminish that power with our human tendencies towards lust or comparison or judgment.

What is it like to see how Jesus sees?

In this episode, we’ll examine our human vision versus Jesus’ all-powerful, all-knowing, loving vision. Jesus knows you through and through and loves you.

Before hitting play, pray the words of a blind beggar and open your heart to learning how to see and be seen; “Lord I want to see.”

Let’s become whole together by seeing as He sees.


When we look at one another we have a tendency to compare each other.

When we look at one another we evaluate – we’re either raising someone or lowering someone on some kind of scale.

We consume one another with our eyes.

Jesus sees it all and yet he doesn’t compare us, doesn’t evaluate us, doesn’t consume us.


The prescription to see like Jesus is to take and eat. In order to become a person who sees like Jesus sees (who doesn’t compare, evaluate or consume others), let’s start by praying like Bartimaeus, “Lord, we want to see. Open our eyes to see.”


Galatians 5:15 “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

For more on this topic, check our latest article Why Being Seen Is Scary Business.

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Welcome back, everybody, hey, I was driving into work this morning, and I was thinking about how impressive Jesus was in regards to his capacity to see people. Seeing people as a really important part of what it means to be a human being. And there’s something really substantial. When we are seen. We know this, right? I mean, you think about your experience, if somebody can see you, and you can’t see them, don’t you feel a level of vulnerability, we were recording a podcast with the guests last year or the year before. And remember, he dialed in using zoom, because we use him when we’re filming with guests or recording guests. And he had his camera on, we did not have a camera set up. And so we could see him and he couldn’t see us. And before we got started, he said, Well, this is nuts. If you guys don’t have a camera, I’m not gonna have a camera and he turned us off. There’s something vulnerable, I don’t blame them. There’s something vulnerable when somebody can see you, but you can’t see them. There’s there’s a, there’s a power differential there. And I think that just illustrates that there’s power in being looked at, there’s power. There’s something powerful that happens as we see each other as we look at each other. And I think right from beginning, in Genesis three, we recognize there’s something wrong with what’s happened to our ability to see ourselves and to see one another. before the fall in Genesis two, Adam and Eve, were naked, and without shame, you read that in the Scriptures, they were naked and without shame. And I think we all long for that whether it’s literal nakedness, or metaphorical nakedness, we want to be completely vulnerable. And, and have somebody see us and see through us and not have anything to hide, not feel any shame whatsoever. In other words, we want to be seen, and we want to be loved. But that’s such a hard thing to experience. And we experience it so infrequently in our culture. But Jesus sees people differently. So I want to just kind of outline just some thoughts about this. I have three different categories that I think happens. And when we look at each other three different ways that we look at each other. And I want to compare those with with three ways that Jesus looks at us. So here, here’s the first thing that happens when we look at one another. We have a tendency as human beings as fallen human beings, to compare each other. We compare a person to another person, we compare another, the other person we’re looking at to ourselves and ourselves to that to that person. And so automatically, there’s there’s a comparison happening. And I’ll talk a little bit why I think that is in a minute. But but that comparison and realizing that when people look at us, they may be comparing us other people can can set us off a little bit. I recently did an interview, it was I was on a show. And there was another person being interviewed with me. So the two of us were being interviewed. And I was just aware of that dynamic as we as we answered questions, but I could feel inside my own gut kind of like, how am I answers compared to his answers? How am I sitting compared to how he’s sitting? And I imagine he may have been experiencing some of the same things? I don’t know. But those kinds of thoughts come up for us there’s comparison. Second is, is when we look at one another we evaluate. So it’s not just that there’s comparison, there’s also there’s evaluation happening, we’re either raising someone or lowering someone on some kind of scale or on several scales, we’re evaluating how is this person talk? How do they look at is this part of their body? Look, how did how do they sound, there’s this an evaluation that happens for us when we look at one another. And then thirdly, and perhaps kind of the culmination V’s in the in the fallen world is we consume one another with our eyes. pornography is a real And last is a those are real, like Stark examples of how a person consumes another person, as they look at them using another person’s body for my own gratification. But there are other ways we consume people too. I mean, we can look at somebody with disdain, or with hatred, that’s a kind of consuming of one another. When you look down another person you’re consuming them, you’re when you’re looking at someone with bitterness in your in your eyes or in your heart, you’re consuming them you’re you’re feeding off of what you’re seeing in some way. I hope that makes sense. I’m going to explain a little bit more because I want to compare those to how Jesus looks at us. And just see if you can find it mean, because I’m just I’m, what’s the word I’m overwhelmed. I’m, I’m taken with how Jesus looks at us. Because Jesus as God Himself, can see everything about us. He can look through us, he sees our present our past our future. He sees the things inside of us that we hide from other people. He sees things inside of us that we’ve hidden from ourselves or that have been hidden from us by someone else. He sees it all. And yet he doesn’t compare us he doesn’t evaluate us in the way that we’re talking about. He doesn’t consume us. So let’s talk about how Jesus does look at us. Does he compare us? No, he doesn’t. Well, so maybe talk a little bit why I think we compare one another, I think we compare one another. Because we’re looking for some kind of orientation, it’s almost like we’re looking for some stability in our world. So imagine for a second, you know, it’s, it’s late at night, and you get up to go to the bathroom, and it’s pitch black in your room, and you’re kind of waiting for your eyes to adjust to the light. And you see, you’re looking for the corners of furniture, so you don’t stub your toe. So you’re kind of looking intently, to try to orient yourself and you’re you want, you want to see comparisons, you want to see the difference in lighting, or the difference in texture, even in the darkness between piece of furniture, and the rest of the room. So you don’t bump into that furniture accidentally, you’re comparing to try to orient yourself to try to make yourself safe to try to navigate well through that dark place. And I think we do that in a fallen world, we we compare one another, to try to orient ourselves, where do I situate in this room? Where do these people situate compared to one another in this room? Who’s? I mean, to put a crassly, who’s top dog who who do I need to look out for? Who do I want to be friends with? How do I kind of relate with them? And and how am I talking compared to this other person, so that I have some sense of like how I fit in this equation. And your words might be different than that. But I think that’s part of why we compare is where we’re trying to orient ourselves relationally with other people in our world, and we, we may be doing that out of insecurity, we may be doing that out of pride or a mixture of both of those. But that comparison is one way to try to orient ourselves in the realm of last we compare, because we’re still trying to orient ourselves by finding out which person is going to bring me the most satisfaction, which person’s body is the most satisfying or brings me the most pleasure. That’s a really, it’s a kind of horrible way to think about it. But that’s really what lustful comparison is, he doesn’t care about the person, it doesn’t see a person, it just sees parts that try to gratify me, that’s kind of the orienting that we do in comparison. And it’s and it is no wonder we feel vulnerable, as people look at us No wonder we don’t want to be compared in that way. But Jesus, he doesn’t need to be oriented. He is the infinite God, all of creation is oriented around him. You know, in CS Lewis has great space trilogy, part of the the protagonist rants and part of what he encounters in the presence of these heavenly beings is that they look like they’re off kilter to him at first, but then he realizes they’re straight up and down that, that it’s the earth that is off kilter. And I think the same kind of thing happens, as we think of I mean, it’s just an illustration of what God is like, all the world may be tilted, and we all may be losing our balance and need to need to grasp for some way to orient ourselves, but God doesn’t he is, he is the one around him. All other things orient, he is the ultimate. So he needs to compare no one to anyone else. Because he sees rightly all things, looking even at just one. Also, he doesn’t evaluate, not the way that we think, no, God does evaluate us. But I think one of the ways that we might understand how he evaluates us, and in contrast to how we evaluate each other, we evaluate each other, looking to elevate someone or to lower someone, and we do it usually as it relates to us, right? So I’m gonna evaluate, are you better than me? Are you worse than me? We might evaluate a person compared to another person, are you better than this person or less than that other person. So that evaluation is it can be a threatening thing, or it can be a promising thing for us. But God isn’t because he’s not comparing. He’s not evaluating in that way. And when God evaluates us, he doesn’t like a physician who’s evaluating a person’s health, he evaluates because He cares for us, he might also evaluate us because He cares for the health of the community or the family. So he might be evaluating to see is this person bringing some kind of sin or sickness into this environment that’s hurting other people. But his evaluation is as a physician who wants to heal is a physician who wants to heal or, or as as, as a as one who comes to seek and to save that which is lost. So he’s evaluating to find out what’s missing here. That’s the kind of evaluation that God does. It’s rooted in love. Not in a need to orient not a need to elevate or decrease somebody. And then finally, we’d hardly need to ask this one after those. But does God consume? Does God look at us with consumption? Does he look at us to consume us to get some energy from us? The answer is absolutely not. God needs nothing in himself, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the Trinity is completely satisfied within himself. And he has he has all infinity and all provision at his hands. He needs nothing to be satisfied. Father, Son, Holy Spirit live eternally in In happy community, you might say, so there’s no need to take from us. There’s no need to grasp from us, we might try to consume one another. As a matter of fact, Paul writes in Galatians 515, he says, You bite and devour one another. And we do that in comparison and evaluation and in judgment and bitterness, because we’re looking for some kind of energy that might have been taken from us or energy that we feel like we’re lacking, but God lacks for nothing. So there’s no conservative, no, he’s not consuming us. In contrast, when Jesus looks upon us, he does so and he actually invites us in his humility. And this is his words from the Last Supper, he says, when he takes the bread and breaks it, he says, Take, eat, this is my body given for you. So he’s not trying to take from us he’s trying, he invites us to take from him to take what he’s offering us to receive from him, it’s a better word to receive from him what he’s offering us. And it’s interesting to me interesting to me, those words, take eat, those are the words that scripture uses to describe what Adam and Eve did when they took from the tree they shouldn’t have. They took and they ate, they saw the tree, that it was desirable, that it was able to make one wise, and they took and they ate. So even there, there was something off with how they were seeing the enemy and sewn these words, these lies into them, they were not seeing a right and they took in the eight. And Jesus offers himself as the remedy. So as I think about wanting to become a person who can see, like Jesus sees, who doesn’t compare other people to myself or to each other, who doesn’t evaluate people in a harmful way to try to raise or elevate myself or others, as and certainly not wanting to consume anybody but wanting to give to others. I want to become a person who sees like Jesus sees and when I look at other people, I can look with eyes of love and delight and joy in the unique image of God that they carry, that they are the unique creation of God, that he or she each one is, I want to see like that. And I think I think the prescription to see like that is to take an eat to behold Christ Himself. Christ who offers himself who sees a right and who offers himself and he says, Take eat, to behold Him and to take of his beauty to take his offering his love for us, his body and blood for us that we can become more like Him. So Jesus is wrap up this brief these brief thoughts would you we wanted to pray like like bartimaeus pray, Lord, we want to see what you open our eyes to see. Open our eyes to see

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