What do you “see” inside Jesus?
When John the Baptist saw this “guy”, walk up to him at the river, Jesus outwardly looked like any fellow human man. But John said “Behold, the Lamb of God….” (Matt.3:13/John 29,36). Why? John saw the unseen. Pilate saw Jesus and said “Behold the man….”(Jn.19:5). Why? He chose not to see the unseen. When the Jews saw Jesus they said “He has a demon….” while others said they saw someone who was insane. (John 10:20).
What do you “see” inside Jesus?
Are you left with your self-pity and feelings of inadequacy or His majesty and living power? Do you engage or rationalize? Some people think, they not only deserve God’s favor, but that John 3:16 implies God could not resist loving them because they are so ‘lovable’.
The truth is that your life will reflect exactly what you see? If you force yourself to “see” the unseen, then this work will give slowly but ultimately give birth to heart.
My friend, it surely is my utter privilege if I can be used in any way to help anyone come to know the living Jesus. This is my life focus. But it’s not up to me to save you. It’s up to you. It’s up to you to bring forth a heart to Jesus that shows you see inside of Jesus and realize His salvation is the most serious thing in the universe.
Have you ever read Proverbs 17:16? “Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no heart?”
It’s a like someone who thinks he is a marathon runner because he watches, observes and expresses interest in a marathon. He’s run a bit and knows the feelings of sweat and exhaustion. But his deliberate choice to “jump the line” and see inside himself the capacity to run a marathon can be described as nothing other than stupid pride. This absurd presumption is what Paul describes as the result of spiritual blindness and the curse and consequence of hubris.
Salvation occurs only if a person fully engages his will and consciousness to calculate and conclude that he must break with self and turn away from pride, once and for all (2 Cor.4:3-4 and 2 Cor. 3:16).
IT IS NO LONGER “I”
When Paul met the living Jesus he instantly explained “it is no longer I (ego, pride, self) who live” (Galations 2:20). This may be the most insightful verse of the Bible into the gospel because it defines the absolute necessity of replacing self life with the life of Jesus. It can only happen through the cross; “I (self, pride, ego) have been crucified with Christ”.
Sometimes people write me some token words on a page in an obvious sense of expecting me to feel giddy and privileged that they did so. As if “Here I am. Now honor me by responding as I expect”. Like they are doing me a favor. Like they already know it all, but want me to see them as a peer and give them some “spiritual stuff”. If you are side by side, with me, then show it by seeing Whom I see Jesus to be, and doing what I’m doing and living WHOM I’m living. See inside me with heart to “see” the living Jesus, not me.
My dear precious friend, do you not see that He sees inside you?
Your salvation is not up to you to define. The Scriptures reveal that, like Paul, we must receive, and obey, the REVELATION from God, not the culture or traditions of American Christianity (Galations 1:12).
It is not up to God to do something “special” for you. You don’t need some personal “vision” or “experience”. Salvation is finished. It is up to you to now believe, repent and receive the Spirit of the living Jesus. God did everything and Jesus completed salvation. It is a work so phenomenal that nothing needs to be done for you or anyone ever again. For you to realize this is totally dependent on the depths of your repentance.
God doesn’t need you. You desperately need God. Jesus says “If I be lifted up I will draw all men…” (John 3:14, 8:32,34). This term “lifted up” refers to the cross and is as impactful as when Israel obeyed God and physically riveted on the staff of Moses to be spared being bitten by snakes. When I focused on the Jesus my only question was such a One alive today Whom I could come to? It is the only “drug” from despair, guilt and depression. Paul says “But we SEE Jesus…” (Hebrews 2:9,12:2).
What are you going to see? It’s up to you. How serious are you about eternal life?
To go to heaven requires the full engagement of your will. It’s not a part time hobby. I seek the living Jesus with a panting heart, like a deer craving water; like a runner dashing towards the finish line. Everything in my life is consumed with Him. This ‘race’ it is not, like the story of the turtle and the rabbit, where “slow and easy wins the prize”. No turtles. Just rabbits. Paul says “I beat my own body and make it my slave” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
It’s about snapping your mind into subjection and changing your ways. It’s about exerting heart. Replace a lazy slothful disposition with a ‘heads up’ awareness. Changing the words you say and the way you say them. Replace defensiveness with quick-twitch humility and sorrow. Find HEART. Force yourself to “see” the unseen (John3:3ff). To comprehend and contemplate into the deep heart of Jesus.
You got to get out of the quick sand of self-pity. It will kill you a slow death. Then you got to see it as poison. Self-pity is NOT entitlement due to God’s neglect but the wall of separation from God. The very first commandment of Jesus is to love the Lord with all your heart.
Everything, and I mean everything, in the words of Jesus in the Scriptures is a command to ACT. It is a summons and a call to CHANGE. Not to sit back and “wait” (The Hebrew word for “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 is “expect”) by listening to lazy lies and excuses. Expect the living God to bless obedience not to bathe you with compliments over an appearance of religiosity because of occasional good works.
God is no beggar. He needs nothing from you. He is King. He only desires heart. To see Him for Who He is. The great “I AM THAT I AM”. It is not for us to be in control and He to be our Butler so as to serve us whatever we think we need. Anything and everything we can do is only what we should do out of heart (Luke 17:10).
The cross is not a past historical event but a living power (Phil.3:10/1 Cor.15:31/Rom.6:6). It is the only “place” for a wicked filthy wretch. It is the only “experience” where the essence of salvation can take place. It means one thing: death. It stands front and center for us to see. Without it there is no reality of Jesus. The cross is the only living active “power of God” (1 Cor.1:18).
Whenever I mention the cross people instantly become ‘deaf’ because they do not understand its practical positive implications.
The cross is the only place to start; to learn. The very first command of Jesus is “If anyone wishes to follow Me he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” (Luke 9:23/Matt. 10:38).
The cross results, not in morbid misery, but in unspeakable joy of freedom from self. Jesus then fills this void with love and creative intelligence to care for others. To have compassion and make others laugh instead of cry, to lift prisoners and the homeless, drug addicts and the suicidal out of the dungeons of darkness.
There is a fascinating Scripture in Matthew 11:7-19. Jesus asks the crowds what the exact motives were that drove them to go out to see in John, in responding to the rumors of a man in the wilderness baptizing people. He first refutes the typical expectations for self-comfort or appearance. Jesus cuts through all the games and ignites dynamite with the declaration that what they were SEEING INSIDE John was greater than anything seen in any man before him.
Right there, in a common shabby, weak, human being resided the ultimate manifestation of the Most High. It is what happens in someone who chooses to engage God in Jesus. Jesus gave great esteem to John because what it required from him to “seize” this revelation was an attitude of “violence” (v. 12). John was not exactly sitting around waiting for God to “lead” him or “bless” him. Obedience starts with true faith to act.
It’s almost as if Jesus is ‘tongue in cheek’ when He asks “What did you go out to see? A reed blown by the wind?”. As if what was in John resulted from him being a religious wimp. In fact Jesus doubles down on the power of will in John by saying “no one has ARISEN amongst men” like him. It was Johns choice to “arise” from living amongst the ways of a lazy human race to LIVE for what he saw inside Jesus. Does you will blow in the wind like a reed? Seize control my brother or sister. It will blow your mind.
It was John who exerted the engagement of his will to such an extent that it literally made Jesus pause and marvel. It was kind of the same response when Jesus watched King David deploy his heart on earth.
This was a similar situation with a woman whom Jesus called a dog and she responded “YES….but even dogs will eat crumbs from your table” (Matthew 15:27/Mk.7:28). In a very mundane common day experience for Jesus in the house of lowly woman one of the most profound things was revealed: our nothingness is our only gateway to His love.
Then in the following parable of Matthew 11:16-19 Jesus lets us have it. He basically says that people expect God to do a song and dance for them if they wiggle a little ‘bait’ in front of him by a feigned twitch of religiosity. As if acting christian just blesses the socks off of God. Like “WOW! You actually might consider MEEEEE!”.
Jesus didn’t tell this parable because it is a rare attitude. People, in general, act like God owes them answers and should be at their feet if they clap their hands to Him. No, my brother, this ain’t it. You got a loooong ways to go before you have a clue. The darkness and evil of our wicked nature has only one vortex upon it and that is from the winds of the fires of hell. For God to actually have done what He has done in Jesus is so far beyond anything we will ever deserve, the only appropriate response is absolute worship.
So what I am saying my dear friend, is that all that attitude of thinking that you deserve answers is very… ready for this… “sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). We ‘deserve’ nothing but hell. Entitlement is sin. It is self. It is pride. It is the world of “ME” first. No matter what you ‘think’ you deserve, in the eyes of the Master of the Universe you are nothing. Any sense of “Hey, I’m here for you to love me” means you are totally missing the gospel.
The Father has provided, not only the way, but all the means necessary, grace, wisdom, forgiveness, etc., for you to SEE INSIDE and enter into the heart of the living Jesus. And this is the judgement “Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light…but he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deed may be manifested…” (John 3:19ff). Jesus is soon to return. This is no game. Please, wake up.
Someone who comes to the Light shows Jesus to the world so they can SEE INSIDE.