Seeing The Face Of Jesus When Reading The Scriptures
Do you know that it’s possible to have a tremendous amount of spiritual knowledge but not actually know the Lord? We can have all the right answers, doctrines and theology and fight to the death to defend the doctrines of the Bible. We can even spend years of research on these things and write books about all we know. And yet in the midst of all this, we can miss out on understanding God and His nature. In Christ’s day, we can see this in the Pharisees.
There’s nothing wrong with knowing theology and correct doctrines—I can assure you, there is no greater theologian than the Lord Jesus Christ! But if we go to the Bible looking solely for knowledge and information, we can get wonderful degrees, be very smart and express ourselves clearly with the words of Scripture, but we will not see the face of Jesus.
Our goal must not be information but a person.
Each day, from the moment we open our eyes and get out of bed, our conscious desire must be,
“Today I want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Today, I want to know a little more about Him. Today my attitude must be Christ’s attitude. Today, this is what I want.”
We need young people with this very desire. The overwhelming thirst within them being to really know the Lord Jesus and to walk passionately with Him, following in His footsteps. There are many who are fed up with living a cultural Catholic life style that is powerless and devoid of authentic Christ-life. They want Him to be what defines their futures, not public opinion or what the world has to offer.
I read of a man, who one time, was reading through the four Gospels, and he took a pencil and underlined everything about Jesus the man. He wanted to see how the One who spoke the universe into existence lived out His life on earth. As he read, he saw how Jesus lived in total dependence on His Father, choosing not to use His God-powers. He faced real struggles, becoming hungry, thirsty and weary as He went about doing His Father’s will.
In His life as a man, He was demonstrating for us what kind of life we should live.
When we come to the Scripture with a desire to see Him, understand Him and follow Him, it will come alive, painting Jesus right before our eyes.
We will see Him taking time to walk through a forbidden land full of “untouchables” to talk to one little woman at a well so she could find the Living Water (John 4:1-30).
We’ll see Him walking among stench and dirt and rotting flesh, pus and blood oozing out everywhere, to look for one man who had been waiting 38 years to find healing (John 5:1-9).
We’ll be able to watch His response when the religious leaders—people who were respected as the authority of Scripture and doctrines and godliness—came to Christ and said, “Jesus, what do you say about this woman caught in adultery? You are a Jew. You know the law. Look at her. Our law says to stone her to death” (John 8:4-5).
If we stand close enough to see His eyes, we’ll see there is no condemnation. There is no spite. If anyone could have condemned this woman, it was Jesus because He was absolutely righteous and perfect. But He didn’t. Once all her accusers had gone, He said to her, “You mean nobody did anything to you? No one condemned you? Listen My child, I don’t condemn you either. Go and sin no more” (John 8:10-11).
A man happened to get an upgrade on an airplane and landed in a first-class seat. There were only about five or six people in the whole cabin. And there was this lady sitting next to him. After a while, he realized she was someone really important. He said to himself, “I need to talk to her about the Lord.” But his heart began to pound. What would she think of him?
Then he reminded himself: If Jesus was the one sitting in his seat, Jesus wouldn’t see this lady the way the man did. He would see something more significant, more important, just like when He met the woman at the well.
The man began to talk to her about the Lord. Come to find out, she was flying to India to meet with the highest officials of the country to talk about a huge loan commitment from the World Bank.
Did she convert? Did she repent? No. But the man did what he had to do by, finally asking her, “Would you ask the Lord Jesus to come into your life and be your Lord? She said, “I will think about it.”
What I am saying is when we walk with Jesus, when we see His face, when we imagine it was Him sitting in our seat instead of us, we will see the way His heart responds to the people and situations around us. That is what He wants—not for us to come to a place of knowing it all but for us to come and understand Him and participate in His nature.
My dream is that God will open a door for us where men and women who feel that they may have a spiritual vocation, will be able to join us in the days to come, setting aside all other desires or agendas to simply understand more about Christ and become more like Him.
And my prayer for each one of us is that wherever we are in our journey, we will press forward into knowing Jesus and being His representatives, living as He lived in this world.