Thursday, March 27, 2014

I See Jesus

                I came across a scripture reference in our study on the book of Acts today that stuck out at me. It has always been a favorite verse of mine, but today it took on a whole new meaning. I love how the Lord uses His word at different seasons of our lives to bring us into a deeper fellowship with Him. How He uses His word to grow us and to take us into a deeper communion with Him. (I love His Word!) But after I read the verse a question came to my mind, and I sat down before my bible and asked the Lord if it was possible- if what I was seeing in His Word was possible.
                “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
As I read these words I was intrigued by the word “seek”, and me being the word hound that I am I had to do some digging. What I found was that the word “seek” in this context means to search out something or someone until it is found, until you can put your hands upon it. Reading this led me to ask the Lord, “Can I touch You?” I mean, really, can we reach out our hands and touch Jesus? My first thought was no, there is no way. He is in heaven and I am on this earth, how in the world can I ever touch Jesus? But then, He showed me something. He showed me what it means to touch Him and what it means for us, as His people to live a life that touches Him daily.
                In the New Testament we see all kinds of people touching Jesus. We see Mary wiping His feet with her tears and hair. We see Judas touching His hand as he dips into the cup with Him. We see John and Peter and the other disciples walking with Him, talking with Him and touching Him. We see a woman with the issue of blood coming to Him and touching the hem of His garment. We see the scribes and Pharisees touching Him to take Him to trial and eventually to His death. We see the Roman guards touching Him to beat Him, to scar Him, to hurt Him and to crucify Him. All through His life upon this earth, Jesus was touched. Even after His death and resurrection, we see Thomas touching His hands and His feet. We see Peter and the other disciples sharing breakfast by the sea and touching Him. We see the two men on the road to Emmaus, talking with Him and touching Him. But how is it possible for us to touch Jesus today?
                The Lord has shown me today that when we touch others, we touch Jesus. We see people as people, but Jesus sees them as His children, as those whom He died for. When God the Father looks down upon us, what does He see? He sees Christ in you. He sees the suffering and the death of His Son in you. He sees Jesus in You. When we desire to touch Jesus, we will desire to touch others. There were many people who reached out and touched Jesus. Some of them were good, and some of them were bad. How we touch others is how we touch Christ.
                We look at the world around us and we see evil, we see heartache, we see darkness, but God the Father sees His Son- in everything and everyone. Yes, even the bad. Jesus, knowing that Judas would betray Him, knowing that Judas was not one of His, He still chose to touch him, to love him and to show him grace. As Jesus hung upon the cross, the sins of Judas were forgiven, he may not have received that
forgiveness, but they were still forgiven. People are not just people- they are hearts that need Jesus, they need to touch Jesus, to see Jesus, to experience Jesus. And the only way we, as His children, as His people can show them that is by touching them. Now, I am not saying that we need to go around and lay our hands all over people, walking up to someone in the grocery store and hugging them- that would be just weird. But, how we treat people, how we love a person is how we treat and love Jesus. We see people as people, but God wants us to see them as Jesus. Would you treat Jesus unfairly? Would you not forgive Him? Would you talk about Him behind His back? Would you turn up your nose to Him if He needed help? Would you deny Him clothing, food, mercy and kindness?
                “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” Matthew 25:45
                What we do to others, how we treat others, what we say about others, all these things we do and say about Jesus our Lord. Jesus said, “for I was hungry  and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-36) What we do to others is what we do to Christ. How we love others, how we treat others; that is how we are treating Christ. (Yes, even to our husbands and wives, and children, and family members, even them.)
                But what about those who are unbelievers, who are evil in all their ways, who choose to walk in darkness and not in light? How we touch others is how we touch Christ. We can touch them with love and grace, with forgiveness and mercy, or we can touch them with spite, rejection and judgment. They may choose to treat Christ harshly, but we can choose to treat them as Christ did- with love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. Isn't that the example He gave us to follow?
                We need to love people like Jesus loved them. We need to see people as Jesus sees them. When we do this, when we begin to see Jesus in everyone, even the unbelievers and haters, Jesus is seen in us. They get to touch Him through us, and we get to touch Him through them. He wants us to seek Him until we can hold Him close and tight. He wants us to seek Him with all our soul, our spirit, our mind and our body. He wants us to reach out and to grab someone and touch them. For when we do- we touch Christ. We can touch Jesus.  We can touch Him, feel Him, love Him and show Him to others.
 We must begin to see people not as people but as Jesus. We must take the flesh off our eyes and see Jesus, no matter who they are or what they have done. Jesus did not look at someone and decide that they were unworthy of His love- no, He let them touch Him. Even the Pharisees, even the roman guards who beat Him, even Judas who betrayed Him, He let them all touch Him. Are we willing to do the same?

                Father God, I pray today that we would see Jesus in everyone, all the time. That we would come to know and to realize that what we do to others we do to You. Father, help us to open our eyes and to see Jesus, Your Son in everyone and everything. Help us to touch Jesus every day as we seek You, as we search for You with our whole hearts. May You alone be glorified, forever and ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord, may we see Jesus and may we desire to touch Him always. Amen and Amen. 
Image 2-Imagine The Eyes of Jesus" by Marcia "Katie" Stowe Baker