Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Eyes of Jesus

Recently I discovered about myself that I have somehow come to love the Scriptures about Jesus more than I love the man Himself.  While I will always consider the Bible to be a treasure beyond worth, I want to love Jesus more than anything.  I want Him to be the center of my worship and devotion.  And so I have set myself on a path to discover who He was and is.  My goal is to know Him that I might love Him.

Today I read a section of Philip Yancey's book The Jesus I Never Knew that discussed Jesus' appearance.  Which is really difficult to do in any educated sort of manner since we really have no record of what Jesus actually looked like.  Over the centuries, each ethnicity has created images of Him that match images of themselves.  That seems a little backwards to me, since we are actually created in HIS image.  (Gen. 1:26)  Yancey pointed out that the only description of Jesus' appearance was actually written WAY before His entry into our world, and it doesn't describe Him as a very attractive sort of man.
"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." (Isaiah 53:2b)
As I thought about Jesus' appearance, I began to contemplate His eyes.  They would have been brown, of course, because He was Jewish.  And I expect that they had a bit of sparkle to them.  Not an ornery sparkle, though, just the gleam of someone who really enjoyed life.  I imagine that they were warm and inviting, smiling.

Until He looked upon the face of someone who was hurting.  Then you could see the compassion in His eyes, the shared suffering.  Perhaps you would expect to see condemnation, judgement, but there was none.  Instead His eyes spoke of forgiveness and love and acceptance.

Except for the religious leaders who claimed to be righteous, but whose hearts were filled to the brim with selfishness.  Toward them, Jesus' eyes sparked with anger and indignation and yes, judgement.  As I read the Gospels, I find it is only to the self-righteous leaders that Jesus speaks words of condemnation.  I wonder what it felt like for them to have the Son of God's eyes bearing down on them.  Maybe I don't want to know.

Maybe you're wondering what significance Jesus' eyes have for me.  Why does it matter what they looked like?

For me, a person's eyes are the window to their soul.  Weariness, joy, anger, untold sorrow...they are all evident in a person's eyes.  Love, hatred, compassion, contempt.  A person's words tell me what they want me to know, but their eyes tell me the real story.

So as I study the person of Jesus and begin to know Him as a man, I see His eyes, and His eyes tell me who He is.  As I read about how He interacted with the people around Him, I can see in my mind His eyes and know that He was real.  And those dark, warm, compassionate eyes invite me to come into His presence, to allow Him see into MY eyes, to see behind the facade, behind the wall that keeps me safe from the world.  And in His eyes, I find acceptance...full and complete acceptance.

For that, I love Him more than I can put into words.

Read about my entire journey here:  
Falling In Love With Jesus
Loving the REAL Jesus

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