I am not very good at people watching. Actually, I try not to do it at all. I was never really sure of the point in doing it and quickly fall into looking at others with a critical eye.
I’m not sure if Jesus was ever tempted to judge someone by their clothing or their weight or any other outward characteristic. Maybe, but I think probably not. From reading the gospels, it’s clear that when Jesus listened to others and looked on others, he saw right through them. He saw right into their hearts.
In Mark 12 there is an example of Jesus people watching. In verse 41 it says he sat down opposite the place where people were putting their money into the temple treasury.
He saw each one and knew exactly what their financial situation was: rich or poor. He didn’t have to be told. He saw the rich person and knew what proportion they’d given. He saw the widow and knew immediately that what she put into the temple treasury was wildly out of proportion to her overall income.
This is what draws Jesus’ attention. This is the point of his people watching. When I people watch I see clothing and hair and body types. Jesus could care less about those things. Jesus is looking for a certain kind of heart: a wildly generous heart, a faith-filled heart that approaches the Great Giver of All and gives back all it has been given.