In the ancient Greek myth, Pygmalion sculpted an image of a beautiful woman whom he named Galatea. The image was striking, so striking in fact that Pygmalion fell in love with it, and he began to imagine wonderful attributes for this image. His love for Galatea became so great that the gods heard, and Galatea was transformed into a real woman with all the wonderful attributes that Pygmalion imagined her to have.
The story sounds a little like Eliza Doolittle of "My Fair Lady" fame, and in fact that modern musical's theme is based on the Greek myth. There is even a management theory called the Pygmalion Effect. It postulates that people tend to become what others expect them to become. If the boss expects the employee to succeed, often the employee's chances of succeeding increase.
Jesus understood the Pygmalion Effect.
The world saw fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots. Jesus saw apostles.
The world saw a fallen woman of a mongrel race. Jesus saw an evangelist to her people.
The world saw a man possessed of a Legion of demons. Jesus saw a son of God.
The world saw little, pesky children. Jesus said, "Let them come to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
The world saw a woman who was a sinner wasting expensive ointment on an itinerant teacher's feet. Jesus saw a broken and contrite spirit.
The world saw a dying thief on a cross. Jesus saw a man who would be with him in paradise.
On the night he was betrayed Jesus told his disciples that he would give them peace, but not as the world gives peace. For the world's image of them was a lie. How often Jesus could see beyond the façade of the public image! How often he could see the core of the man, right down to his Holy of Holies where we allow no one else to go! Jesus sees us for what we can be.
Excerpted from The Sabbath
Morning Companion, July 9, 2004, by Lenny Cacchio.
Volume 3 Issue 8 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review | In the Days of Your Youth
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