It’s a phrase we jump past in our efforts to have impact and influence, in our desire to scale our work, to magnify our reach.
A man had started a conversation with Jesus. At a pivotal point in their conversation, we read, “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him…”
The disciples and Jesus were packing up to travel. They were heading to Jerusalem, shortly before Jesus was killed. He knew it. They sort of knew it. It wasn’t the best time for thoughtful conversation, for listening to hearts, discerning their depths, and offering next steps.
But that is exactly what Jesus did.
We jump past that to what Jesus said to him about selling everything. We create strategies and sermons about the dangers of wealth or the acceptability of wealth. But the most significant thing at that moment is that the whole story of the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, sending of the Spirit – in short, the whole story of everything – pauses because Jesus is looking into the eyes and heart and hopes and fears of one person.
A few days after this, Jesus talks to his disciples and says they will do what he’s done, and even more. He then says, “Here’s my command. Love one another the way I have loved you.”
When we are worried about how many people we are serving, how many people we are helping, how much impact we are having, perhaps we need to change our focus. Rather than thinking about how many, we could think about how much we are listening to the one person who is in front of us.
Jesus looked at him, loved him, and then spoke.
It’s a powerful model. It’s pretty available for each of us. Today.