A mature brother in Christ recently asked, “Have you ever seen Jesus?” at a gathering of a local house church. He looked around the room while we all searched in our minds for the ‘right’ answer. Was he talking about physically seeing Jesus or seeing Him in a dream? Quick thing fast. Was the man asking about seeing Jesus through His creation or the works of His people? It was one of those moments where you could sense the tension. Had it been a game show many of the people would have probably shouted ‘Pass’ hoping that the next quetion would be easier.
Was the man’s question directed at seeing in the spirit or the flesh? What’s the difference? Affraid of making a mistake, I just kept my hand on my lap. I didn’t want to lie. But I couldn’t honestly remember having seen a visible image of Jesus other than a few Bible-inspired visions, God’s creation and His people. If we walk by faith, does it really matter what we see? Jesus said that those who did not see Him yet believed would receive a blessing. Oh, oh, I want a blessing. Pick me! Pick me!
I didn’t want to seem religous and raise my hand out of peer pressure. But I also didn’t want to seem unspiritual because I know that I know that Jesus Christ is real. He loves me with the best kind of love. Jesus is my God, Lord and Savior. Why am I even worried about getting the ‘right’ answer? Who is grading the test? If God is reviewing the scantron bubble sheet of my life, I can’t fake him out. God knows the truth. He can see right through me. God remembers my past better than I do.
Ok God. You win. I surrender. Help! Give me the answer. Ok, will you at least give me a chance for extra credit?
Jesus looks at me with eyes of love and says, “Look not at what is seen but what is unseen. You are saved by grace through faith, which is not of your own work. Rest in my merciful arms. Behold I make all things new – including the eyes of your heart to see me.”
1 Timothy 1:16
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.