Wednesday, October 24, 2018

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16 ESV

What does it mean to regard someone according to the flesh? It means to recognize and evaluate people from a worldly or human point of view. It is to use human measuring standards to judge others. When we do this the outcome is always division and discord. We, too, once regarded Christ according to the flesh:

He had no form or majesty that would make us look at him. He had nothing in his appearance that would make us desire him. He was despised and rejected by people. He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. He was despised like one from whom people turn their faces, and we didn’t consider him to be worth anything. Isaiah 53:2b-3

But Christ did not regard us this way. Even though “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2), Jesus did not regard you according to the flesh.

As Jesus hung crucified on the cross, Roman soldiers below gambled for his clothes. The criminals crucified with him ridiculed him, religious leaders mocked him, and the crowd hurled abuse and insults at him. Surrounded by people who had absolutely no regard for him, Jesus prayed for them: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” He did not judge them according to the flesh. Instead, Jesus regarded them according to the will and heart of the Father.

We also, as children of God, no longer regard Christ in this way because we know Him as our Lord and Savior. We know that “he was wounded for the wrong things we did. He was crushed for the evil things we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him. And we are healed because of his wounds.” (Isaiah 53:5 ICB)

We are to no longer live for ourselves but for Jesus who died for us and was raised again. This is why it is written: From now on, therefore, we also regard no one according to the flesh.

We are to regard every person according to the Spirit of God. This includes your neighbor, your spouse, your children, your boss, your professor, your co-workers, team members, your friends, your enemies, your relatives, your opposition, and even yourself. Everyone.

From now on, therefore, we also regard no one according to the flesh.

We must see people the way Jesus sees people. 

Today, praise God for how He regards you in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Also ask the Spirit of God if there is anyone you are regarding according to the flesh. Then fast and pray specifically for the people God brings into your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to enable you to regard them as He does. 

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21