In front of you are two people to choose from to lead an ancient great nation: one’s a skilful hunter, the other’s a quiet man who lives in tents. Who would you choose? In the ancient world, it was assumed that a great hunter would be a great leader—that’s why you see so much art depicting Assyrian kings hunting lions. It demonstrated their power.
Yet, right from birth, things are flipped upside down. The second child, not the first, shall be stronger and the elder shall serve the younger. Of course, it turns out that the younger is a bit of a trickster and the ensuing story makes us wonder about the ethics of gaining birth right in this way. But what it does do is remind us that God doesn’t follow the systems of the world, or even put first the qualities that we think are the best in people. God takes people as they are and works wonders—even with their faults or the unsavoury parts of their character.
Jesus taught similar when he said the last shall be first and the least the greatest. It’s a world turned upside down. We’re called to see people through Jesus’ eyes, not as the world sees them. We’re called to see in a way that values everyone’s contribution.
Are there people you may have dismissed because their qualities don’t live up to standards that we set?
God who sees into the depths of our hearts, help us to recognise the potential in others and to look at people through your eyes, not the world’s standards.
Choose someone who might be overlooked in your church community and remind them of their value before God.