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Jesus didn’t see people as liabilities, Yeats says

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Christians can make a difference in people’s lives if they first see people the way Jesus sees them, said John Yeats, editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Aug. 31.
“Jesus has a burden for people. He sees the condition of the heart. He speaks to them as if it is the last time he is going to see them,” said Yeats, who also is the Southern Baptist Convention’s recording secretary.
“We can touch people as Jesus would want to touch them,” Yeats said in a chapel message. “You can see people through faith as he sees them. This capacity to be the eyes and the ears and the hands for the touch of Jesus is the opportunity every one of us as believers have.”
If Christians strive to see through the eyes of Jesus and touch with the fingers of Jesus, they will abandon their cares, and an unconditional love will take over and become a person’s focus, he said.
Unfortunately, Yeats said, many Christians are so caught up in other frivolous matters in their lives that other people’s needs are pushed back.
Many Christians have blinders on their eyes and on their hearts, Yeats said, and they can’t see what a person’s true needs are because they are so consumed with their cares and their inward desire to be acceptable to the world.
Drawing from Mark 6, where Jesus fed the 5,000, Yeats noted while the disciples were concerned about where the food would come from, Jesus was concerned about the people themselves and their needs at that moment.
“Jesus sees the people with worth and value. … [T]he disciples see the people as a liability,” Yeats said, adding many modern-day Christian have the disciples’ attitude.
Instead of focusing on what helping other people is going to cost us, Yeats said, “We can see them as valuable and worth the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary’s cross. He embraces us with the Spirit’s power so we can love them even when they are unlovely.”
In the Mark passage, Jesus questioned the disciples about their supply of food to show them that they lacked something only God could supply, Yeats pointed out.
Jesus does the same for Christians today, he added.
“He helps us discover how sufficient he is to take any circumstance and reveal his glory through us,” Yeats said.
Yeats said Christians need to have a burden for people of all kinds, a burden that “is part of being identified with Christ.”
Jesus had compassion on the lost and unfortunate, Yeats emphasized, reminding the students that this kind of unconditional love is their responsibility as well.
“What [Christians] need to be praying is, ‘Lord, release your burden for people through me,'” he said.
“Have you ever wondered why Jesus had such a burden for people? It could be that he knows their ultimate destiny. It could be that he knows about their struggles and seemingly hopelessness,” Yeats said.

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  • Robyn Little