Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be a follower of Jesus during His earthly life: to have witnessed His birth, watched Him grow as a boy, seen Him perform duties at home, listened to Him talking with the wise men of the day, been present when He called His disciples, seen His miracles firsthand, watched Him walk the Via Dolorosa, observed His body hanging upon the cross, witnessed the darkness in midday and the death of the Son of God, seen Him as He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, and been able to look upward as He ascended to heaven?
If you had been there, what do you think you would have noticed most about His physical presence? His words were life itself, but what was appealing about His presence? Scripture says He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2). Yet His Word also tells us that He saw into the hearts of people – when He saw their faith (Luke 5:20).Had we been able to walk and talk with Jesus, I think we would have been most captivated by His eyes:
- eyes that sparkled as he looked at Mary and Joseph while lying in the manger
- eyes that confirmed what Simeon’s eyes finally beheld – the Savior of the world had come
- eyes of understanding that astonished the temple teachers when He was twelve
- eyes that faced down Satan as he tempted Him in the wilderness
- eyes that read from the prophet Isaiah when He declared, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And with all eyes in the synagogue fixed on Him, He declared, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
- eyes of compassion for the man who had been inhabited by an unclean spirit as He demanded, Be quiet, and come out of him!
- eyes that saw the two boats, empty at the end of a fruitless night of fishing, Who, after He taught the multitudes from one of the boats, told Simon to launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. His eyes, missing nothing, saw their need and met it.
- eyes that returned the longing look from the man with leprosy as he pled, Lord, if You are willing You can make me clean. Touching Him with His hand and seeing His need for cleansing, He said, I am willing, be cleansed.
- eyes that saw the faith of the friends who let down a paralyzed man through the roof so that He might heal him
- eyes that beheld friends as He dined with tax collectors and sinners
- eyes that could penetrate through the hypocrisy of the Pharisees as they accused Him of unlawfulness as He healed on the Sabbath
- eyes that looked heavenward as He talked with His Father
- eyes that lifted up toward His disciples before teaching the multitudes
- eyes that radiated with amazement upon hearing of the faith of the centurion when He said, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
- eyes that ached at the grieving of the widow of Nain. He had compassion on her and raised her son from the dead.
- eyes that beamed with appreciation as the woman washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and anointed them with fragrant oil
- eyes that sought the crowds for understanding as He spoke His parables
- eyes that searched the crowd for the woman who touched Him and was healed
- eyes that looked into the hearts of His disciples as He gave them power and authority over demons and to cure diseases
- eyes that shone in a transfigured face as He talked with Moses and Elijah
- eyes that perceived the insincerity of the ones who pledged to follow Him, but first wanted to go and bury his father, or bid his family farewell
- eyes of determination as He sent the seventy disciples out two by two and gave them instructions for their journey
- eyes that blessed His disciples when He said, Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.
- eyes that glowed with pleasure when His disciples understood a heavenly principle
- eyes that viewed the woman who had an infirmity for eighteen years, could not stand up. Laying His hands on her, immediately she was made straight and glorified God.
- eyes that saw the lepers as they pled for mercy. He healed all ten of them even though only one would give Him thanks.
- eyes that beheld with love and tenderness the children brought to Him
- eyes that took note of the sorrowful response of the rich man when He told Him what he must do to follow Him.
- eyes that looked up in the tree and observed Zacchaeus straining to see Him. He asked to stay at Zacchaeus’ house knowing that he was ready to hear the good news of salvation.
- eyes that wept over the city of Jerusalem
- eyes that perceived the craftiness of the chief priests and scribes as they tested Him with the question, Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
- eyes that shed tears of grief for His friend Lazarus
- eyes that turned to look at Peter after he denied Him three times
- eyes of love for His mother as He asked John to take care of her
- eyes of forgiveness for those whose duty it was to put Him on the cross. Scripture records at least one centurion who observed and then understood that He was the Son of God.
- eyes that filled with suffering and sorrow as He died alone on a cruel cross for sins He did not commit
- eyes that sparkled when Mary Magdalene realized that she had been talking to her Lord, not the gardener
- eyes that watched as the two men He encountered on the road to Emmaus recognized Him after He broke bread with them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’
- eyes that looked upon His disciples for the last time and gave them His great commission
- eyes that saw everything and everyone – the poor, the rich, the crippled, the arrogant, the contradiction of injustice and kindness in people, the struggles of humanity, the pondering expression on His mother’s face as she reflected on His words and His mission, the beauty of faith in those who trusted in Him.
Jesus lives on – in our hearts. The world searches our eyes for the sincerity of faith and commitment that we voice with our mouths. It is possible that a lost world can detect the depth or the shallowness of our love for Jesus and those He died for through our eyes. Can we, like Jesus, look at those around us with eyes of love?
© Stephanie B. Blake