Keep your eyes on Jesus

Published 8:40 am Friday, January 26, 2018

I haven’t played baseball in a few years, and I am not really the biggest fan of the sport anymore. However, I remember a phrase that my coaches would use while we were hitting, and it has always stuck with me. They would say, “Keep your eye on the ball!” It seemed so simple, yet hard to do. I realized that it didn’t matter how hard I swung or how much I choked up on the bat. If I took my vision off the prize, I would never get a hit.
If you, as a follower of Christ, take your eye off the prize, you will miss the mark. We can’t follow someone that we do not see. We can’t imitate the actions of someone we are not watching. If there is any advice that I think would be beneficial to the Church, it would be “Keep your eyes on Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 3:10-18 says, “For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Many of us live, as Moses did, with veils over our face. We are blinded by our traditions and opinions from seeing the radical Jesus of the Gospels. In this day and time, we need God to remove our blinders so that we may see and become as Christ. The world doesn’t need any more casual Christianity, and they don’t need all our rules and regulations. They need to see Jesus Christ and His scandalous love manifested in our lives.
So how can we become like Christ? I want to focus on the word “beholding” in verse 18. This comes from the Greek word “Katoptrizomenoi” which had come to mean “to contemplate” or “gaze upon.” This word is considered a present participle which means that it has a continuous aspect. We do not use aspect in English, but in Greek, a continuous aspect simply means that the action is done repeatedly. Therefore, we do not just behold Christ once, but rather, we behold Him over and over and over again.
So verse 18 tells us that as we continually are beholding, or “contemplating/gazing upon,” Christ, the more that we will become like Him. We are “changed in the same image from glory to glory.” We must keep our eyes on Christ in order to look like Christ. The more that you think on Jesus and gaze upon His glory, the more that you will find your heart and mind aligning with His. 1 John 2:3-6 reads, “3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
If we are going to claim to be Christians and followers of Christ, we better look like Jesus. The only way to look more like Him is by looking at Him and His life in God’s Word. This week, even in the midst of life’s distractions, keep your eyes on Jesus and become like Him.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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