Looking At Christ: What Does It Mean To Fix Our Eyes On Jesus? Discover more on this article.
He insinuates: ‘Your sins are too great for forgiveness, you have no faith, you are not sorry enough, you will never be able to continue to the end, you do not have the joy of your children, you have such a wavering control of Jesus. However, we must not be fooled.
What does it mean to look at Jesus?
We must be looking at Christ, the creator and perfecter of our true faith, who only to save us endured the cross, shame and mockery, and is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God.
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1. To look means to bow
Looking at Jesus means trusting him. The word translated “look” has the idea of focusing our gaze on something with confidence. “fix our eyes”.
Jesus is our encouragement in this race, as our example and as our help. As an example, Jesus is the forerunner who went before us. He has lived faithfully in this world, trusting in the Father and yielding to his will. He has left us an example that we could follow in his footsteps (1 Peter 2:21).
As our help, Jesus is the one from whom we draw power. He is the one who has given us life (John 5:21) and has sent the Helper to be with us forever (John 14:16). We run this race only by his word and only by the power of his Spirit. Then we look at him. We rely on him.
2. Looking means not looking
Another aspect embedded in this idea of looking at Christ is that we look without distractions. Biblical scholar Peter O’Brien points out that the prefix of this Greek verb translated “to look” actually carries the meaning of “to look away from everyone else towards oneself.” This makes absolute sense.
When we look at Jesus it means that we are not looking at anything else. Looking at him means that we turn our backs on all other things. We forget the approval of man and the consuming goal of leaving a “spiritual legacy.”
Of all the good things we could look at and draw energy from, Jesus demands our exclusive gaze. Looking at anything else will eventually be exposed for the hollow pursuit that it is. Looking at Jesus means looking only at him. That’s what it means to be God: you don’t share your seat.
3. To look means to love
To be looking at Christ means that we accept that he is our reward. There is a parallel in this passage between where we look in our career and where Jesus looked in his. The text says of the premonition of Jesus: “for the joy set before him.”
We see some clauses after this reward was his being “seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” This was where he fixed his gaze. It was the vision of this finish line that carried him through suffering and shame. It was his goal.
And what about ours?
It is the same Jesus. Jesus is our goal. Looking at him means loving him, longing to be with him, seeing him as him, living in communion with him forever. One day we’ll see, you know. We will see it with our eyes, we will hear it and we will touch it. And for that, we must prepare ourselves every day.
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Why should you fix your eyes on Jesus?
We must follow Jesus because he is Lord, not just because of what he can do for us. I do not deny that Jesus can and will do much for us when we follow him. But I’m stating that the main reason we should follow Jesus is because of who He is, not because of what He can do for us.
We can be tortured and killed for our faith, but we must still follow Jesus if He is the Sovereign Lord of all. Luke’s account of Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem shows us five aspects of the lordship of Jesus Christ that give us solid reasons to follow him, even to the point of death.
1. Jesus is the Lord of authority
To have a faith that endures, you must understand that Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of authority. He is sovereign even over all the bad things that happen in the world. You will work all these things together for his glory and for the highest good of his saints.
Jesus was not a well-meaning reformer who was tragically murdered because he made a mistake in choosing a disloyal disciple who betrayed him. He gave his life for his sheep on his own initiative (John 10: 17-18).
While the crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of God, was the most horrible crime imaginable, and those who did it are responsible for their terrible sin, that sin did not frustrate the sovereign plan of God, but fulfilled it. Nothing can defeat God’s purpose (Psalm 103: 19; 115: 3).
2. Jesus is the Lord of creation
If Jesus is the Almighty Creator, then we must certainly follow Him. If you want a faith that endures, bow down to Jesus as the Lord of creation. Of Jesus, John wrote: “All things came true through Him; and apart from Him, nothing arose ”(John 1: 3).
We are not here as a result of a random possibility plus billions of years of evolution. Personal God created us and has a purpose for our lives, both in time and in eternity. We realize that purpose when we follow it. Jesus is the Lord of authority and the Lord of creation.
3. Jesus is merciful
In Luke 19: 41-44, Jesus predicts the terrible judgment that would come upon Jerusalem. Consider his attitude: he cried. The word is stronger than anything written in John 11:35, where Jesus silently wept at the tomb of Lazarus.
The word here means loud sobs or a scream of agony. God does not delight in judgment, but in mercy. He is not willing that any one perish, but that all come to repentance. He is slow to anger and abounds in love for every sinner (Exodus 34: 6-7).
4. Jesus is the Lord of salvation
Jesus came the first time offering peace, and the offer stands until He comes again for judgment. He offered himself to be the lamb that would pay for sins, if his blood is applied to your sins through your acceptance, God will bypass you on the day of judgment, and you will be safe.
His offer to you is peace with God through the forgiveness of your sins. On the cross, Jesus satisfied God’s wrath for every sinner who will trust Him. We must admit that we are sinners and that we desperately need a Savior.
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Things to consider when deciding to follow Jesus
Jesus is the only Lord and Savior, the bible says so, no one goes to the father if it is not for him. All of us must always be looking to Christ to reach the promise of being saved, however this will never be easy, there are certain things that we must take into account in this process. When deciding to follow Christ it is necessary:
1. Be willing to obey and submit
Following Jesus does not mean that you live independently of his example and instruction. Followers of Christ confidently obey and submit to his will by faith, even when it exceeds understanding. “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will go to him and make our home with him'” (John 14:23).
2. Prepare to endure difficulties
Are you prepared to endure hardship for the cause of Christ? Following Jesus means that difficulties are not just a possibility, but a guarantee. But James 1:12 explains: whoever remains in trial will be blessed by God.
3. Prepare to see the ugliness of sin
Walking with Jesus Christ means seeing the sin that it reveals, confronting it, and asking for forgiveness. You will continue to fall short every day, and that can be frustrating for believers who assume that following Christ equates to perfection.
As you succumb to earthly temptations and pleasures, you will discover that having a new heart means you have a new awareness and sensitivity to sin when you never have before. But cheer up, friend. Christ’s perfect sacrifice has covered us from condemnation, and he will provide you with the strength you need to flee from sin.
4. Be aware that the world will not always accept you
When you really know Jesus Christ, it is difficult to understand how others will not welcome him and his followers. But Jesus does not protect us from this sad reality: “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first” (John 15:18). If the world is not walking with it, they are fighting it.
As his follower, you will find yourself in similar situations of persecution, misunderstanding, condemnation, unacceptance, hostility, and oppression. Amid the world’s antagonism, hold on to what Peter and the apostles recognized in Acts 5:29: “We must obey God rather than men.”
5. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone
Christians are called to seek justice, defend the homeless, and serve the poor. Neither of these commands can be accomplished by sitting quietly at home.
Whether you are comfortable with the Lord’s commandments or not, you will be challenged to speak up when you are scared, intimidated, or uncomfortable. Jesus does not say that you must be full of doctrinal knowledge or be a spiritual superstar to do these things, Jesus calls us to a willing and obedient heart that goes wherever He sends us.
6. Prepare to be accountable
Through the last sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and by faith in him, your sins have been erased from your record. But this does not mean that you are free to take Christ’s sacrifice for granted and deliberately continue to sin.
You will continue to stand before the judgment seat of God, and you will give an account of your actions (Romans 14:12). You must not only remain accountable to God, but also to others in the body of Christ. Accountability seems intimidating, but it is a gift from God to help us walk on the right path.
7. Leave things behind
Ephesians 4 tells us to no longer walk as we used to (v. 17) because our understanding became darkened, we were excluded from God, we were ignorant, and our hearts were hardened (v. 18).
Therefore, we must put aside our old self, before knowing Christ, and put on our new self, which is now in the likeness of God (v. 24).
Faith in Christ demands a radical change in your lifestyle, in the way you once behaved. It can mean walking away from people or situations that ultimately don’t glorify God, and this can be challenging.
8. Expect to be humble
Philippians 2 tells us that followers of Christ do nothing out of rivalry or presumption, but humbly count others more important than themselves (v. 3) and observe the interests of others (v. 4).
Christians must walk humbly because Christ Himself did not consider equality with God to be something that could be understood. Boasting of our weakness (2 Corinthians 11:30) seems contrary to our culture, but it is our duty as followers of Christ.
10. Prepare to love
At first glance, this final consideration seems easy to accomplish. But by loving as Christ did, this means that you cannot be selective about who you love. Following Jesus means loving without conditions. But make no mistake: loving here means loving in action, not feelings.
You may not be able to feel love for your unpleasant neighbor or spiteful relative, but you are still commanded to love them. John 13: 34-35 says that we love one another just as God has loved us, it is a command.
Have your eyes on Jesus means putting our faith in him, valuing his sacrifice and doing what he did: love, forgive, preach, support. To find ourselves looking at Christ we don’t need a Jesus Sunday School poster taped to your wall.
We don’t have to carry our Bible wherever we go, we shouldn’t pretend that life isn’t difficult when it really is. But we must show that we follow the example of Christ. When people see us they have to see Jesus in us, that is the true proof that he is in our hearts.