Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus

February 4, 2018

Have you ever tried the game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey?” How did you fare? It is funny that even adults do not do well in this game. The main challenge is the blindfold. This is true about any kind of game. You need to see your target, or goal, for you to be able to play well. Even the best basketball players need to see the hoop for them to be able to shoot the ball and make a basket. In fact, the players would concentrate and fix their eyes on the basket so that every move they make is directed towards it. They would score points only when they are able to shoot the ball through the hoop. Similarly, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus if we want to reach the goal of our faith, heaven. The apostle Paul said, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).

In emphasizing the importance of having good eyes, Jesus himself had said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt 6:22-23). He was referring to the eye as the window to the body; good eyes will illuminate the entire body, especially our hearts and minds. It must be understood that the eye is not just for seeing, but for perceiving. It is not only how we see things that matters, but it is how we perceive them that makes the difference. To emphasize this, Jesus said, regarding those who have hardened hearts, “They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!” (Mark 4:12).

Although we may have good eyes to see, we also need to have focused eyes. The fact is that we often focus our eyes on the wrong things. And as we do, we are terrified because we are reminded of our weaknesses and inadequacies. Therefore, we need to heed the admonition of the Psalmist who said, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (Psalm 105:4). When we look to the Lord, we are encouraged and energized because we are reminded of all his good promises. He is our mighty deliverer, our fortress and stronghold, and our ever present help in trouble. All these encouraging truths will allow us to focus on him and to trust in his mighty power. Let us always remember that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor. 1:25).

When trials come, it is the heart that is normally troubled. It becomes restless and the mind is confused. But in moments like these, we are not without hope, because the Lord has given us another set of eyes that can bring light. The apostle Paul encouraged those who were holding on to their faith in the Lord, saying, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18). The eyes of our hearts are able to illuminate our whole being, the heart being the wellspring, or centre, of our life. It allows us to see things through the eyes of the Lord and it is only then that we can fully appreciate the richness of his love, grace and mercy. Then we can walk by faith and not by sight.

Many are unable to fix their eyes on Jesus because of sin. They cannot see him eye to eye, because in doing so, it will remind them of their sinfulness. This was the case of the apostle Peter when he denied the Lord Jesus Christ three times. Peter did not find it difficult to deny Jesus because Jesus was not with him. In fact, he did it three times, and the last time he even called a curse on himself to emphasize that he never knew the Lord. But just as Jesus had said, the rooster crowed after his third denial. “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times’” (Luke 22:61). It was when their eyes locked that Peter remembered the warning of Jesus. Today, we need to lock our eyes on the Word of God for us to remember Jesus and all his teachings and promises. It is in doing so that we can set our eyes on the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls.

While we have physical eyes, we need to see things through the eyes of faith. In doing so, we can see the eternal blessings that come with our faith in the Lord Jesus. The apostle Paul said, “‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ -- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9-10). Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus and be blessed. Hallelujah!