By Stanley Ow Chong Kheng
Stanley is the GMMI National Lead Facilitator in Singapore.
How would you view Jesus? As Asians, and I guess for other continents as well, we are always thankful to the Europeans and Americans who sacrificially brought the gospel to us as missionaries. The Jesus in our minds, often accompanied by children’s Bibles, pictures and later Western movies, is that of a Western-looking compassionate Jesus who with outstretching hands welcomes children to Him.
In church, believers talk and envision Jesus in their mindset of who He is and attempting to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Who is this Jesus that the preacher talks about every Sunday? Our cell group leader tried to explain to us in the weekly Bible study. There are many views and opinions about ‘Jesus’ in the church.
In this reading we will try to look into the Scriptures, especially the gospels, which describe His ministry on earth and focus on two aspects of this writing – seeing Jesus as He is and secondly in becoming like Him.
This text is partly taken from I Corinthians 13:12, ‘Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ This is a spiritual journey that we embarked on when we became Christians – a journey of faith and to become more and more Christ-like in character through His fruit of the Spirit ‘growing’ in us. Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of love, joy, peace, patience etc. It is a process of spiritual growth that is taking place in a yielded life of all believers. It is a surrendered life. One of my favorite verses is Galatians 2:20, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ It is also an indebted life. We owe our lives to Jesus, not just in theoretical terms of our minds but practical living.
How do we see Jesus? The early disciples had a firsthand life experience, a living testimony, of who He was while on earth. John the beloved mentioned in I John 1:1,3,’That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life… we proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.’
Seeing Jesus as He is requires the following steps of ‘experiencing’ Him in our daily living based on John.
1. Seeing- Our spiritual eyes need to be open. At the conversion of Saul of Tarsus who later became the greatest apostle of the New Testament, Dr Luke recorded in Acts 9:18, ‘Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again…’ We need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes to see His glory and experience His marvelous presence. ‘Your young men will see visions’ prophesied by Joel 2:28b. It is intentional and desirous.