“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Heb. 12:2, NKJV).
My most powerful moments in prayer have happened when I was looking directly at Jesus. I believe that this verse holds forth for us one of the most essential keys for an effective prayer life: eye contact with the Lord.
It is specifically with our Savior that we are able to engage this way. We are not yet, in our fragile human bodies, able to look on God the Father and live. “He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see” (1 Tim. 6:16, NET). The majesty of His glory would undo our frail frames.
However, God the Son has made Him known. The Word tells us that, “No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known” (John 1:18, NET).
Jesus’ coming to earth fulfilled this purpose. “Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father” (John 1:14, NET). Jesus came to make Daddy accessible to us.
For the first time, humans could touch God. They could embrace Him. They could look up into His twinkling, wise smile. They could stand in close proximity to Him and warm their souls in the tangible welcome that emanated from His being. They could bask in the healing tones of His voice. They could feel the affection of God the Father in His touch.
In His face, they could perceive firsthand the lavish riches of absolute acceptance and profound tenderness that spilled forth from His heart. They could sit just inches from His feet and drink in everything compelling and gentle and powerful and kind about His persona.
John describes this personal, intimate contact with the incarnate God as “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched” (1 John 1:1, NIV).
Jesus is still the image of the invisible God. When He ascended into Heaven, He did not discard this role. In prayer, He still wants our ears to hear Him, our hands to touch Him, and our eyes to look on Him. This contact takes place spirit-to-Spirit. We touch Him with our spirit. We lean in to listen to His voice with our spiritual ears. We gaze on Him with the eyes of our heart.
So the author of Hebrews invites us to look unto Jesus. This is not simply a metaphorical expression. Holy Spirit truly is inviting us to train our inner eyes to gaze on the Author and Finisher of our faith.
With humble gratitude, come to the throne of grace. Come and gaze on the One who loves you more than His life. With reverence, devotion, and childlike trust, look up into His beautiful eyes…
Exodus tells us that God would speak “face to face” with Moses “as a man speaks with his friend” (33:11). Yet, just nine verses later, God tells him, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” (v. 20). How is it possible that God spoke to him face to face without showing him His face?