Have you ever wondered what Jesus see’s when he looks at you?
Have you ever wondered what he would say to you?
One of my favorite accounts in Scripture is when Peter first personally meets Jesus. John 1:42 simply records this: “Jesus looked at him and said: You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).”
Based on this, I can actually confidently tell you precisely what Jesus sees when He looks at you. I can also confidently tell you what He would say to you. And it is this: He sees you and I exactly for who we are. He knows everything about us (Psalm 139), the good, the bad, the ugly. He knows our name (our very identity).
This is the first thing Jesus told Simon. He looked at him, saw through him and said: “this is who you are. I know everything about you. I know you to your core. I know where you come from and the influences that have shaped you into who you are today. I know you.”
Have you ever had anyone look at you and it was as if they saw right through you? Did that unnerve you? Make you feel uncomfortable? Did you feel shame, guilt, embarrassment…conviction? Or maybe it was a bit freeing because at least you didn’t have to pretend to be someone you are really not!
But did you notice it was not the only thing Jesus said and saw? Jesus didn’t just see who Simon was in the present; he saw who Simon would become in the future! Jesus knows the end from the beginning (Revelation 22:13). And when he looks at you and me, he doesn’t just see who we currently are; he sees what those who believe in him will become through His power, because of His great love for us, if…or as…we follow Him!
Does this give anyone else chills? Does this give anyone else hope?
And think about this: the word translated “Peter” means “rock.” Yet what is interesting about this is that Simon was anything but a rock…at first. If you travel through the Gospel accounts you see a man who one minute is walking on the water but the next minute sinking! (Matthew 14:29-30). You find a man who one minute is speaking under the inspiration and revelation of God but the next speaking under the influence of Satan! (Matthew 16:13-23). You see a man one minute declaring his loyalty to Jesus no matter what may happen but the next vehemently denying even knowing Jesus when under pressure! (Mark 14:32, 66-72).
Yet…finally when you arrive to the book of Acts, you find a man who once filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, becomes exactly what Jesus said he would become: a rock (Acts 2:14-42; 4:1-31). I don’t know about you but this gives me hope. This inspires and encourages me. Jesus knows who I am…but he also knows who I will become! And even though we may stumble and struggle along the way between who we are and who he says we will become…Jesus never gives up on us. He finishes what He begins! (Philippians 1:6).
I have a burning desire to get this message out to people. I believe people need this hope that is found in Jesus. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not in His presence. But neither will he let you remain as you are. His presence has a life-transforming power…if you will just continue to look to him and let him work in your heart and life…no matter how much you fail or how hard you may fall at times (John 21).
I see him doing this in my own life. I was just telling my kids this story tonight and told them how I was so shy, insecure, fearful, intimidated and quiet growing up. It really wasn’t until 11th grade that I even began to talk. Even now by nature I battle these things…but yet God took a weakness and has made it a strength in Him! He gave me a gift to preach and teach. He has given me a desire to step out in faith to serve him in ways and places that I wouldn’t by nature. And I am confident that He gave me those gifts and desires not to show how wonderful I am…but to show how powerful he is (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). He can transform us and turn us into people we never could have become on our own who do things we never could do in our own strength!
All he asks is for us to trust him…to believe Him and continue to believe in Him. He calls us to follow Him and keep our eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2) promising that as we do He will work in supernatural ways in us and through us (Matthew 4:18).
What does Jesus see when he looks at you? What would Jesus say?
He sees who you are…but also who you will become. And he would say exactly those two things: “I know who you are presently…but I also know who you will become by my power at work in you. So come…follow me and watch what I will do!”