A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 35: Shrewd (John 2:24-25)
I admire the fact that Jesus could see through people. No, not like X-ray vision. He could see through their gestures, their outward actions and appearances, and he could see into the heart.
He knew the leper needed to be touched. He knew the woman at the well needed a deep conversation with a man who respected her humanity. He knew the lame man at the pool would be resistant to healing. He knew when the Pharisees and other Rabbis were engaging in bad faith arguments and trying to trap him.
Jesus had an amazing insight into the human psyche. He gave Simon the name Peter, which means rock, despite how unstable he was. He knew Peter would ultimately become a foundational pillar in the kingdom.
He knew the little girl would need something to eat after he brought her back to life.
He knew the formerly demon possessed man needed to go back home among his own people to share his story with family and friends.
And because he knows, Jesus is able to take the most dire situations, the most helpless cases, or the most hostile aggressors and shape the outcome of the situation to bring glory to God. He knows just what to say or do in order to bring about the most good for the most people, rather than being outmaneuvered by his enemies.
At one point he sent his disciples out into the world on a mission. He told them to be as innocent as doves and as shrewd as serpents.
Most of us don’t have nearly the level of intuition as Jesus had. But we do have scientific studies and research into human psychology that can help us become more shrewd in our encounters. We can learn about cognitive biases and distortions. We can learn how to connect to people on an emotional level. We can learn to develop greater empathy. We can access all sorts of tools to improve communication, conflict resolution, and community building.
But maybe some of us need to begin with knowing ourselves better. Allow God to search you and lead you on a journey of self-discovery THEN come back and try to understand your neighbor in a healthier way.