I know where my children are. Mostly. I mean, currently they are visiting grandparents in another state, so I can’t see them, but I am generally aware. As much as I love them, my view is limited, but there is a Father who does not lose track even of the hairs on our heads. He is deeply personal.
All over scripture we see the phrase “looking at them,” or “turning his gaze towards them,” or when Jesus saw…” We know one thing for sure, Jesus did not avoid his people. Maybe you wonder at his interest. Maybe you aren’t sure where you stand before him. Maybe you aren’t sure he would look directly into your eyes if given the choice, so it may be of interest to see some examples of a variety of people he engaged. They are imperfect. So are we. He is still looking.
He Sees The Disciple
This is a man who was invited to follow Jesus, but had not committed yet. He was considering. And whatever the reason was he was sitting under the fig tree, it held enough meaning that when Jesus referenced it, he was compelled. Actually, the depiction of this story in The Chosen series, is probably my favorite. Are you in a place where you’re considering? Are you in a place where you need to know he sees you?
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” — 1 John 1:48
He Sees The Hostile Challenger
This was spoken to a group of challengers. They were not kind or friendly. They were hostile. And Jesus did not ignore them, nor was he unnecessarily harsh or mean despite the fact that he knew their hearts. I find it interesting the phrasing Luke used here — he could have just recorded the response, but he made it a point to clarify that Jesus looked directly at them. Do you see yourself at odds with God? History reveals he is a God who looks directly at you too — and I suspect it is not in hostility but in a conviction to speak truth.
“But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?” — Luke 20:17
He Sees The cast-out minority
This woman was cast out of her company and thrust into a vulnerable, life-threatening situation. She had to feel the injustice. She had to feel alone and unimportant. Perhaps she felt like a mistake. She was on the cusp of losing everything, and she encountered God. Her statement is one of my favorite. Do you feel tired, alone, or mishandled? You are seen.
So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” — Genesis 16:13
He Sees The Mother
A handful of words were offered as he was dying. As he was painfully enduring the cross… he was still looking. And he saw his mother. He established her care with one of the disciples, a dear friend; and this matters because she was soon to be very vulnerable. In his misery, he was still on mission. In his final moments, he saw Mary. If he looked upon his mother in the greatest moment of misery, he will not fail to look upon you while seated upon his throne. Are you parenting? Wondering if even as you fill needs, you are not sure you are seen? Take heart. He is preparing and positioning you too.
“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”— John 19:26-27
As daughters of the king you are known and loved and seen. Let’s look back. Let’s chose to look at him even as he looks at us.