If you lose your vision you lose one of the most used senses we have. We see so many details in life and use those to know how to act, react, move, live and understand. We judge people’s emotions through their actions and facial expressions, we see how people move and what they do. We watch nature, our families, media and do our work all with our vision. You can still live a vibrant life without vision, but you are certainly missing many things without it.
In life, we learn to focus on specific things, we learn to use our vision to succeed. In our spiritual lives, it is much the same. We learn to focus on Jesus as we journey through a devotional life with Him, as we learn to train our mind’s eye on Him. The Scriptures are full of stories of individuals that focused either on themselves or on Jesus. Their journeys are recorded for us to learn from — either to emulate or to avoid what they did.
I always think of people like Saul who became Paul and had a truly visionary experience with Christ on the road to Damascus. John the Revelator received visions of Revelation, of the end of time and Jesus’ return. Daniel saw visions and had dreams, and had to remain focused on God, lest he falls away to a foreign land.
But the story that reminds me of the constant necessity of remaining focused on Jesus is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2 when Jesus and his parents journey to Jerusalem for the Passover. While there, they all get busy, and at the end of their time, Jesus slips away. When his family begins the journey back home, they make it to camp before they realize that Jesus isn’t with them. Jesus’ parents make the terrifying realization that Jesus is not there, they have lost Him — they have lost God.
Now any parent in this situation would be terrified, but for these parents, the terror is especially deep. As they hurry back to Jerusalem, they remember all the times that God has spared Jesus' life, they remember fleeing to Egypt to get away from the evil king Herod, and they remember how Satan tried to kill their baby boy, the Messiah. They were tasked with keeping watch, with focusing on Jesus, and as His earthly parents, they have failed.
When they find Jesus, three days later, He is in the temple speaking and discussing things with the rabbis. They are upset at Him, but He reminds them that His place is among His Father’s work. It showed them that Jesus had begun to truly understand His purpose on this earth. He had become aware of what He was there to do — to provide the sacrifice for our salvation.
I am not trying to be rough on Jesus’ parents. They weren’t being malicious or trying to neglect Jesus, but they got busy and distracted. How often do we become distracted with life and forget Jesus in our lives? We forget to focus on Him, to look to Him. We try and do things on our own rather than focusing on Him.
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Scripture calls us to Look to Jesus, to fix our eyes and hearts on Him. When we do this we will become changed by His presence in our lives. We will be more like Him. Our focus must be on Jesus to survive this world, and to have the peace that Jesus offers us as we journey till He returns. One day, we will be face to face with our Savior, Jesus Christ, but for now He calls us to keep looking to Him.