We have pictures and illustrations of what we consider to be how OUR Jesus looks. Much of this is done as we tend to be so oriented to the visual. To the point, vision is arguably the most dominant of our senses. Vision because 70% of all the sensory receptors in the body are in the eyes, and nearly half of the cerebral cortex is involved in some aspect of visual processing. Needless to say we place a great deal of importance in what we see.
Those images of Jesus Christ our Lord are not photographic and merely are a reflection of what man over the ages has imagined our Savior to appear as to our eyes. But these images are part of our experience and regardless of how accurate or inaccurate they are, they serve to illustrate and provide a visual point of reference to us.
But how can we ‘see’ Jesus when none alive today has seen him in person. No one living has walked down a dusty road beside him, or sat at a table and dine with him, or stood in awe as he imparted his message. Or have we?
I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me. Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. Lord, they will ask, when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, What I'm about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:35-40 (NIRV)
As you well know we are all brothers and sisters of Christ. Have you noticed that when we meet a fellow believer the first time there is an instantaneous bond that is obvious? It doesn’t form it is just there! That kinship. And as we share with them, offer of our own resources, and lend aid; we feel the Holy Spirit communing with us together. “Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me”. In doing so we ‘see’ that we did this for Jesus. When we provide and/or aid the ‘least’ of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we do the same for Jesus. So we begin to ‘see’ Jesus in those brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them.
Jesus is present when we meet as Christian in the name of our Lord; when we gather to worship, fellowship together or anytime we gather. So we see him again when we worship on Sunday mornings, when we meet mid-week for prayer, or bible study, or the ever popular pot luck supper! We know this because he tells us ‘I am there with them’. Again another sighting of our Lord!
But this appearance of our Lord and Master is even more prevalent than that.
Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.
As we follow what Jesus has commanded of us, he is telling us that ‘you can be sure’; not maybe, not once in a while, not if the conditions are just right; You can be sure that I am ALWAYS with you. And not just for a season, or while we are doing this or that ‘I am always with you, to the very end.’ Some translations say ‘to the end of the age’ or ‘end of the world’.
Yeah I have seen Jesus lately. I see him now! You do too. So the question is perhaps are our eyes really open to him? We don’t have to go anywhere, do anything other than follow him, and he is always with us. Always there. Ever present.
So if our spiritual eyes are open, our hearts are yielding to the will of the Lord, we can see Jesus at every moment. How does that impact how you behave? How does it set your interaction with others, be they our brothers and sisters or those who have yet to embrace our risen Lord? How does it make your load in the middle of the day when it feels like there just isn’t another inch we can move our burden? How does it change your presents of mind when dealing with your family, or prepare to retire for the night or rise in the morning?
I love songs of worship. One that this topic reminds me of goes a bit like this:
Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus
To reach out and touch Him
And say that we love Him
Open our ears, Lord
And help us to listen
Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus
If we haven’t seen Jesus lately, it is fairly likely that we haven’t opened our eyes to him. Seen Jesus lately?