“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18)
Have you ever seen an invisible person? Impossible, you say? Not really. Invisible people are all around us. They may be the person cleaning up the spill in the supermarket, the teen with weird hair at the carwash, the slow-moving elderly lady in the discount store, or the homeless man on the street corner. The person isn’t really invisible as much as unnoticed as we hurry by.
Have you considered the way Jesus related to those around Him? We often find Him interacting with the “invisible” people of His day—the blind, the crippled, the poor, the downtrodden. He willingly touched the untouchable leper. He took time for the children. He reached out to the sinner. He listened to the cry of the Syrophoenician woman, a foreigner. He showed concern for the widows, the grieving, the tormented, and the afflicted. The ministry of Jesus crossed all levels of society.
Although He ministered to the masses, Jesus cared about the individual. The Gospels record His one-on-one encounters with hurting people. While we may hurry past someone with barely a glance, the Lord never rushed past someone with a need. At times the disciples tried to shield Him from those reaching out to Him. They rebuked those bringing the little children (Matthew 19:13). When the Syrophoenician cried out for help for her daughter, they begged the Lord to “send her away” (Matthew 15:23). Perhaps they preferred to deal with people collectively rather than individually. After all, becoming personally involved with others’ problems can be time-consuming and emotionally draining.
Each person we pass during the course of our day possesses hopes and dreams, fears and worries, longings for acceptance—the same emotions we feel. We must consciously slow down and let the invisible become visible to us. It is what the Lord would do if He walked the streets of our city today.
We encounter the same people repeatedly—store clerks, waitresses, receptionists, and others. Do we see them as a “real person” or are they invisible except to offer us service? Do we know their name? Do we notice when they seem worried or depressed? “Oh, they wouldn’t want me to pry into their personal life,” we protest. Almost without exception, people respond to genuine concern.
While someone may have been invisible to us, no doubt we have not been invisible to them. They have observed our lifestyle and detected any inconsistencies between what we say and how we live. Philippians 1:27 says, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” Our talk must match our walk. Only then will others really listen as we share with them about our Savior.
Jesus came to minister to the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, the blind, and the bruised. As His disciple, this must be our life mission as well.