SPRING IS HERE!
Spring is officially here. As usual, it is characterised by a heightening of the senses as they are assaulted on different levels. On one side, the feel of fresh lush grass underfoot is counterbalanced by airborne rogue pollen professing to titillate but only irritating and provoking sniffles, sneezes and itching. The pleasant repetitiveness of tweeting songbirds jarred by the cawing of inexplicably angry crows, jackdaws and strangely enough, seagulls. The lying sun is bright and forceful enough to dissipate gloom- inducing clouds but lacking in power to warm away goose bumps caused by the straggler chills hanging on to the tailcoats of a reluctantly departing winter. The eyes however arguably enjoy the seasonal sensual onslaught the most. They greedily drink in burgeoning plants in kaleidoscopic colours; then they embrace trees that first blossom with soft pink candy floss flowers before sprouting luxuriant green leaves. Classics like the brown of barks, happily hook up with the greens of shrubs while colours that have no right to, joyously commingle.
One thing is clear though; as the days get longer and the weather warmer people seem happier. This is because what we see and contemplate really affects who we are and what we eventually become. This is a spiritual principle known as the Law of Focus of Concentration. Several times, Jesus alludes to this principle, but it falls to the Apostle Paul, that great expounder, to flesh it out.
IS SEEING REALLY BELIEVING?
John 6:40 (KJV) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jesus explains that His God-given mission is to to give eternal life to and to raise up on the last day, those who see and believe on Him. Any student of the Scriptures immediately senses that there is more to this seeing than (absolutely no pun intended!) meets the eye. The Greek word for “seeth” is “theoreo”. At its most fundamental level, it means to spectate. This is primarily how God first grabs man’s attention. It was his natural curiosity that made Moses stop at the Burning Bush which was indeed burning but was not, contrary to natural laws, being consumed. The NEXT meaning of the word is to discern. This means to distinguish or discriminate by employing the intellect. This is decidedly a progression from mere spectating. We are told in Exodus 3:3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up.” The third meaning of the word “seeth” is to literally or figuratively experience or intensively acknowledge. This also is a progression from discerning. It was obviously at this juncture that Moses experienced and acknowledged God. Other meanings are to behold, consider, look on, to perceive and of course to see.
I am so glad that God does not leave us His children without a witness. He knows our frailties and our weaknesses. He is quite aware that we need faith-enhancers. So, on a daily basis He shows us the Son in innumerable innocuous ways. Many will be content to just see Him at that level. Others will hunger and thirst for more of Him. They will ask, seek and knock and God will in turn give them a greater revelation of His Son, Jesus, the Christ.
“YOU ARE THE CHRIST…”
For three and a half years, the twelve disciples walked with Jesus because they believed He was the Messiah. Yet it was on many levels a mental assent. They saw Him as the Christ on a very rudimentary level. It was not until just before His passion, in the region of Caesaria Philippi that Christ began to stimulate their curiosity by asking them who the populace perceived Him to be. The answers ranged from John the Baptist, to Elijah, Jeremiah or indeed one of the other prophets. “But who do you say that I am?” He pointedly asked them.
Everyday, in different circumstances, Jesus asks us the same question. In your marriage, who do you say Jesus Christ, the Son of man is? What about in volatile situations? During a spell of road rage? When your sexual or other appetites are raging and demanding to be met? When you are tempted to conduct an arranged marriage for immigrational purposes? Making compromises to avoid pain, shame, dis-honour or deserved consequences?
Peter’s answer thrilled Jesus because it showed that at that point, he was seeing what God was seeing. Jesus calls this a revelation for as He said, “… flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven…” The word “revealed” is the Greek word “apocalupto” which means to take off the cover, that is disclose or reveal. Our problems, fears, anxieties, traditions, culture, politics etc put a veil on our knowledge of who Jesus Christ is. It is time to take the veil off .
Once the disciples caught this revelation, it was time for an unveiling of deeper revelation. Once you know who He is then it is time to understand why He came.
REFLECTING THE LORD’S GLORY WITH UNVEILED FACES
2 Corinthians 3:9-18
9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
18 (MKJV) But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit.
Why do we need to see Jesus? Why can’t we choose to see other great men, ideologues, folk heroes, philanthropists, gurus,etc. or even ourselves and our abilities? Firstly, as Peter said by inspiration, He is the Christ (that is the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of the living God. He is, as John informs us, the Eternal Word who was in the beginning with God and by whom all things were made. Colossians 1:15 tells us He is the image of the invisible God, the First-born of all creation.“He is in His own words, the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can get to God the Father outside of Him. Most importantly, He is the repository and reflection of the Father’s glory.” Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6 CEV) The Scriptures say, “God commanded light to shine in the dark.” Now God is shining in our hearts to let you know that his glory is seen in Jesus Christ.
If His glory is seen in Christ then we must like the Greeks who came to worship at the feast in Jerusalem in John 12:21 desire to see Jesus. Paul talks of unveiled faces and this means we seek Him in sincerity without any hidden agendas or motives. We seek and worship Him in spirit and in truth. The mirror we gaze into to see His glory is none other than the Holy writ, the scriptures, the unadulterated word, the perfect Law of Liberty.
The reward for study, for seeking His face is that we are constantly being transformed into the same image we are beholding. I am, you are, we all are being constantly transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory. And best of all, it is a work that is being conducted by the Holy Spirit Himself therefore it cannot be stopped, hindered or corrupted. God Himself wants me to have that liberty that only His Spirit can secure. Little wonder then He wants me to see the Son. My soul says “yes” and “amen”!
I WANT TO SEE JESUS.