Seeing Jesus – Part 1

In John 12.45 the Lord Jesus said, “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.” It seems clear from this that Jesus intends us to see Him. He is One with the Father (Jn. 10.30) and, indeed, He is the express image of God (Heb. 1.3). See Jesus, therefore, and you see as much of God as you can see this side of eternal glory.

Say the name, “Jesus.” Say it out loud.

What do you see?

I do not ask whether you see anything. Every Christian has some image of Jesus, perhaps many images of Jesus, embedded in their mind. So the question is not whether we see something when the name of Jesus comes to mind. The question is, What do we see? And a further question should be, Why should we see Jesus?

Of course, we cannot see Jesus in physical terms, that is, with our fleshly eyes. We will see Him with our eyes one day, and the effect of this is that we will be like Him (1 Jn. 3.1-3).

So, if not with the eyes of our flesh, then, how may we see Jesus? Paul says we may see Him with the eyes of the heart (Eph. 1.18ff). The heart is the seat of affections in the soul. It focuses the rest of the soul—the mind and the conscience—on proper ends, bringing into the purview of faith what we should long for, desire, love, and most delight in. The eyes of the heart, therefore, can see Jesus and see Him truly.

But unless we have good reasons to do so, we will not much desire to see Jesus in this way, to see Him by faith, with a sanctified imagination richly embroidered with images from Scripture and the Christian heritage. What might those reasons be?

First, to see Jesus is to glimpse the perfection of all virtues, and of all beauty, holiness, truth, and life. These are all attributes every Kingdom citizen longs to possess, and they are all to be found in Jesus. The more we look upon Jesus, meditating on His beauty (Ps. 27.4); vividly recalling His incarnation, ministry, teaching, suffering, resurrection, and reign (Heb. 2.9); and seeking His glory in every line and phrase and paragraph and book of God’s Word (Jn. 5.39)—the more we see Jesus, the more the Spirit of God will work in our soul to transform us into His likeness (2 Cor. 3.12-18).

Further, to see Jesus is to be grounded and emboldened in our hope and to know the exceeding greatness of His power, working in and through us to make all things new (Eph. 1.18-21; Phil. 2.13; Rev. 21.5). Seeing Jesus thus lifts us out of the confines of our finite, sinful selves and our merely mundane existence into that place where, seated next to Jesus in glory, He “rubs off” on us and is refracted through us to the people we meet each day (Eph. 3.20, 21; 2.6).

A third reason for seeing Jesus is that to know His Presence is the source of every holy and wholesome joy, pleasure, and delight (Ps. 16.8, 11). The pleasures to be known in contemplating Jesus are far more satisfying and ennobling than any earthly pleasures we might indulge, be they ever so pure. Seeing Him we can know these pleasures, and knowing these pleasures, we will love and serve Him more faithfully.

We see Jesus already. Every believer does. But do you see Jesus as clearly as you might? Do you see Him with such clarity, presence, and wonder that you are utterly and completely enthralled and, like the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17.4), consider that this is as good as it gets in life? Do you see Him with such connection, such vital attachment, that the solid rock of His character invades and pervades your soul, renewing your spirit and flesh with His eternal and unchanging glory?

Do you see Jesus like this?

You can. And Jesus expects that you will. But we must listen carefully to Him as He instructs us in the discipline of seeing Him. For if we will, we will see Jesus with the eyes of our heart, and seeing Him, seeing our King, we will be better fitted to live as citizens and ambassadors in His realm.

Today, take 15 minutes to see Jesus. See as much of Him as you can. Tell Him what you see. Then share what you see of Jesus with those in your path today.

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