When we look at someone, who do we see? It seems every one of us has an opinion. I can remember countless times when I’ve heard contrasting views of the same person. The truth lies somewhere between the opinions. We may not be seeing what is truly there. Maybe we need to get our vision checked? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Life is an interesting endeavor, you find no shortage of opinions on everything. I stood in the infield at North Wilkesboro, I listened and watched as people shared their opinions about the night of racing ahead. Racing incites a passion in us, so much so that we develop strong opinions. What other things in our life incite such a passion so deep that we form such a strong conviction? What do we see?
Vision isn’t always what we see. I am fascinated by the differences of opinions I hear; especially after a challenging turn of events. First, you have to know who you are talking to, because that will help explain their viewpoint. Second, you have to know where you are standing, because that will influence the decision. Every opinion is filtered through the understanding and the relationship the person has with the involved parties. Unpacking that will help us determine what we really saw.
What we see and how we interpret it goes a long way to help us understand where our faith lies. I think of the apostles as they sat in the upper room after the crucifixion, what did they see? What just happened? What do they do now? It reminded me of the time Jesus posed this question to them.
Luke 9:18-20; Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
First and foremost, Christ came to do the will of His Father. He was a servant, here to accomplish the plan laid out for Him by God in Heaven. Sometimes we forget that he came with a purpose and that purpose defined everything he did. He shared part of that with us in John’s Gospel.
John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
As the writer of my devotion noted the other day:
“In his perfect life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection, Jesus proved that he was sent from God. And here John records for us Jesus’ own description of the will of God, which sent him. This is the will of him that sent me, Jesus says, that everyone who has eyes to see me for Who I am, and believes on me, will have everlasting life.
How do you see Jesus? Do you see him as a good teacher? As a prophet even? Or do you see him (as he claims in this very same verse) to be the One who has the power to raise the dead when the world comes to an end?
To truly see the Son, Jesus clearly implies, is to believe on him. It is one thing to give mental assent to a set of Bible lessons, to say “Yes” to the question of Jesus’ deity. But it is another thing altogether to trust him with your life, your ambitions, your purpose and meaning in life.
Do you see Christ as the Lord of your life? To those who see Jesus as the Son of God, and plant their faith firmly in him, Jesus promises an everlasting life and resurrection at the last day.
In other words, your faith will not be disappointed; it will be replaced with a greater reality than you could ever have imagined.”
What do we see? Do we see Christ as the savior He is? Maybe we see him as someone who can answer my prayers and provide me with the wants and desires of my heart. Maybe we don’t see Him as God at all and he is just a historic figure that lived a few thousand years ago. Our vision of who Jesus is will determine the direction of our life, the decisions we make and our dwelling place for eternity.
I am reminded of a couple men who had their eyes opened and saw Jesus for who he truly was. One hung on the cross alongside Jesus and recognized Him.
Luke 23:40-43; NLT; But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The criminal had nothing to gain, he had lived his life and was about to die. He couldn’t go back and change anything and he couldn’t look ahead to how he would live life differently. This was it, his end. His eyes were opened and he saw Jesus, the Savior of the world and cried out to him for mercy.
There was another man at the foot of the cross, a Roman Soldier, dedicated to serve the Roman Emperor to the point of death. As he looked upon the events of the day his eyes were opened and he saw who Christ really was.
Mark 15:39; NLT; When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
What do we see? Is our vision clouded with misunderstanding about who Christ is. Have we let the opinions of others determine what we believe about Christ? We would do good to revisit our opinion of Christ and commit to making Him Lord of our lives. Then we will see the plans that God has for our lives clearly, our vision will be restored. Who do we see?
John 3:16-17; ESV; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.