Richard Swenson wrote a book several years ago called Margin. And one of the questions he posed was: “Do you know who was the most important person to Jesus at any given time?” The most important person to Jesus no matter where He was or what He was doing, was the person right there. It was just the person who was standing right there with Him. And all too often for us, the person that is right there is—just in our way! I’m a busy person. I’ve got people to see, I’ve got places to go, I’ve got things to do, Dancing With the Stars is on in 20 minutes!
Jesus was on His way help a girl who could die any minute. He and His disciples were walking through a crowd of people when Jesus suddenly said: “Wait. Someone touched me.” I’m sure His disciples were thinking: “Hey Jesus, this girl is going to die! We gotta go!” Jesus stopped everything He was doing to reach out to the lady who had touched His robe. When Jesus got done preaching the Sermon on the Mount, a very high-brain function kind of thing, He was exhausted as He walked down from the mountain. A leper came up to Him and asked Jesus if He would “make him clean.” And Jesus healed the leper.
People were that important to Jesus—the most important person was the person right there. And we need to establish a habit of looking around to see the people that we all too often walk right past. Because when we see people the way Jesus saw them, we’ll reach out in love and service. And when we do, our character gets shaped. One time, they came to Jesus and asked, “Can you bottom line this for us?” (Or something like that.) And Jesus put it very simply when He said, “Love God, and love others as you love yourself.” That’s the bottom line. Our kids don’t need to think that all it takes is just showing up on Sunday morning, sing a few songs and put a little money in the plate. Our children need to see in us how to love God completely, love ourselves correctly, and love others compassionately.