Who was the only one in human history that was not seen? This past Sunday morning I asked this to a perplexed looking bunch during a church service. You could tell minds were zipping through stories in Scripture seeking to find the answer. Finally, a middle school young man from Holland Christian in Michigan, almost fell out of his seat as his hand flew up and shouted out “Jesus! He was spot on.
Lately I been reflecting on how perhaps our heartfelt need within each and every one of us is to be seen. We want somebody to notice us. We want to matter. The last 10 days we were reminded of this as Oceans Ministries was privileged to lead middle school boys joined by their principal, a high school senior, a sister and a mom on a Kingdom Encounter. These young men, and those accompanying them, were amazing, serving almost 1000 meals to those in extreme poverty, loving on children, and praying with boldness over many in the community.
Each evening as we gathered for “family time” there was a sense of expectancy and excitement as each of us shared a high and low about the day. Behind these quirky, energetic, always hungry young men, were boys who welcomed hugs, had the freedom to cry, and soaked up words of affirmation. Deep down aren’t we all like that? When we don’t feel seen we end up doing some crazy things in life; just to be seen. Think about the outrageous posts on social media or the way we act out to draw attention to ourselves because deep down in every soul is a need to be seen.
And that is why the Father took His eyes off His perfect Son Jesus. Jesus, the only One in human history who for a moment was not seen by His loving Father as He took on the sins of the world. Jesus became our curse, carrying our rebellious heart to the cross and He was crucified for our sins, so that we would never experience the Father taking His eyes off of us. We will never have to call out like Jesus did, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” Matthew 27:46.
Healing and transformation happens when our eyes of faith are opened to the One who really sees and knows us with His perfect love. Read Genesis 16 sometime and you find a story laced with sin. Sarai is tired of waiting for God to act and give her a child. So she comes up with disastrous plan of giving her servant Hagar to Abraham in order to have the child God promised. Abraham sins by sheepishly going along with the plan and once with child Hagar sins by mocking Sarai with pride.
All this erupts as Sarai mistreats Hagar and she runs away. In the midst of all this sin and pain God goes after Hagar and tells her she is going to have a son and to call him “Ishmael,” which means God hears. Hagar responds in faith and from then on Hagar referred to the LORD, who had spoken to her as,
“The God who sees me!” (vs. 13).
What a picture of how our Father runs to us in Christ in the midst of our sin and misery. As we call out for help He is there to forgive and show us His love in the gift of His Son. Jesus, His onlySon whom the Father looked away from so that we could be seen and loved by our Good Father.
Our last night with these amazing group we shared Communion, anointed and prayed over each one as a symbol of the Holy Spirit sealing their hearts to the fact that they are seen by their Father.
Praise God for the Holy Spirit, the Word, our Baptism, and the LORD’s Supper that shout out to us,
“I have seen the God who sees me!” (Gen. 16:13)