May 20-26 - "Behold, Thy King Cometh"
Walter Rane (American, born 1949)
Road to Jefferson (2010)
oil on panel, 12 x 20 inches
Used with permission of the artist
"That really puts things into perspective" is a familiar phrase that describes a how we come to see something clearly. During the Renaissance, artists discovered and developed vanishing points in paintings—the direct spot where everything converged in the far distance. At the time, the ability to diagram this perspective was a scientific breakthrough. This opened up a new way to paint, and by extension, a new way to see. The colloquial meaning of the word has grown to include seeing anything with fresh eyes. An artist’s perspective is a point of view that helps open our eyes to their unique sense of the world. Artist Walter Rane describes his perspective in "Road to Jefferson" as follows: “Jefferson (not Jericho) is a town just south of our home in Salem, Oregon where we lived for many years. It was a road I traveled often because our mechanic was there, the only guy around who would work on an old Saab. On an overcast, foggy day it seemed as if the road actually did vanish up ahead.” Rane's painting helps us to see the road through his eyes, and perceive things about it that might otherwise have escaped our attention.
Zacchaeus was a short, rich, tax collector, not well liked by the citizens of Jericho. When Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming to town, he wanted, like so many others, to see Him. Being "little of stature" (Luke 19:3), however, he was unable to see Jesus through the crowd. So, he opted for a different perspective - he climbed up into the sycamore tree and from this vantage point, he was able to see Jesus despite the gathering crowd. When Jesus saw Zacchaeus up in the tree, He invited him to come down and announced to all that He would stay the night with Zacchaeus. Jesus' perspective of Zacchaeus was also unique. While others saw Zacchaeus as "sinner" (Luke 19:7), Jesus' listening ear allowed Zacchaeus the opportunity to describe himself as something different than how we was commonly perceived - he described himself as a generous man, fair in his dealings with others (Luke 19:8). And Jesus accordingly declared that Zacchaeus was saved (Luke 19:9).
How does the idea of perspective help us to listen to and learn from others' view of gospel principles? Understanding the idea of perspective, does this help you to value different perspectives of gospel principles as similarly accurate? Although his vantage point was different than others, Zacchaeus saw the same Jesus as those in the crowd with their feet on the ground.
What can you do to improve your view of the Savior as you study his life and teachings?
Knowing of Jesus' perception of you as a child of God, worthy of His ultimate sacrifice, how does this help you to better follow the commandment to love yourself? (Matthew 22:39)
Tell us what you think. How do you like the Come, Follow Me (Art Companion)?