I was about 10 years old when I discovered that I could not see nearly as well as my classmates at school. It had gotten to the point where it was affecting my schoolwork. So my parents took me to get an eye exam and some eyeglasses. I remember that on the ride home after getting my new glasses I read out loud every road sign, simply because I could see them now. The improved vision also allowed me to be able to hit a baseball, something that made the sport immensely more enjoyable!
Life is so much better when we can see clearly. Good vision allows us to avoid a lot of problems. In the same way, we have to have a clear view of Jesus in order to have a good spiritual life. If our view of Jesus is distorted in any way, we will have all kinds of problems. That’s why Scripture tells us to give close consideration to Jesus—who he is, what he teaches and how he shows us to live. Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Jesus wanted his disciples to see him for who he was is. So he took three of them—Peter, James and John—up on a mountain with him. There he was transfigured before them and his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as brilliantly white as the light. Moses and Elijah appeared before them and talked with Jesus. Then “…a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).
It is important that we listen to Moses and Elijah, who in this case represent the law and the prophets. However, it is absolutely critical that we listen to Jesus, because he is the one who fulfills the law and the prophets. We can’t understand the full meaning of the Word of God unless we see it as it is fulfilled and interpreted through Jesus. The Lord wanted his disciples to understand the importance of having a clear view of who Jesus is. As the Lord’s disciples today, we also need to have this understanding. The better we see Jesus, the better we understand how to live for God. Therefore, we need to continually read the Bible to see how Jesus lived and to know what he taught. We must read and study Scripture, meditate on it and then put it into practice in our lives. The better view we have of Jesus, the better we can live for him.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
So, it is clear that we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and continually strive to get a better view of who he is and what he is like. We would do well to follow the advice of that old hymn—“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”