John Tinkler, Red Row, Morpeth, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
As John comes to the end of his Gospel, he informs us ‘there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written’, 21. 25. We do understand that the Spirit of God does not reveal everything that the Lord did, or said, or saw on the earth, but we have that which draws our heart’s affection to One whom ‘having not seen’ we love, 1 Pet. 1. 8.
In this meditation, whilst the Gospels record what our Lord saw, using the terms ‘seeing’, ‘beholding’, ‘looked’ or ‘looking’, there are only four instances where we read of His eyes.
We just mention some of them for contemplation in our study of the scriptures:
- The all-seeing look, Mark 6. 48.
- The caring look, John 19. 26.
- The compassionate look, John 5. 6.
- The discerning look, John 8. 10.
- The loving look, Mark 10. 21.
- The searching look, Mark 5. 32.
- The watchful look, Mark 12. 41.
In Luke chapter 6 verse 20, we read that the Lord ‘lifted up his eyes on his disciples’. In the context it would appear to be a shortened version of the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5-7. However, here the Lord stood ‘in the plain’, v. 17, whilst Matthew states, ‘And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain’, 5. 1. Some believe that they are the same event, but we realize that the Lord preached not only to His disciples but also to the multitudes that gathered to hear Him. Both need to hear the truth and it is worth repeating to different groups in varied places.
The proclamation of spiritual truth
In John chapter 6, we have the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand – the only miracle found in each of the Gospels. Verse 5 notes, ‘When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him’. However, it is Mark who reveals His compassion on the vast throng, ‘because they were as sheep not having a shepherd’, 6. 34. He had taught them, but now He thinks of their physical need and the lad’s lunch becomes a meal for the multitude. We need to remember provision for the spiritual as well as the physical. The need is supplied in a remarkable way.
The provision of physical food
In John chapter 11, we have the amazing miracle of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. There was consternation when He told them to remove the stone, for by this time the normal corruption process had set in. However, ‘they took away the stone from the place’, v. 41; they did their part. Now, He was to do His, with the enabling of His Father in heaven. He ‘lifted up His eyes’ and prayed. He prayed that the spectators would hear the intimate words of the Saviour and that they might believe. Many did, v. 45!
The prayer of acknowledgement
The final mention of His eyes is found in John chapter 17 verse 1. The Lord ‘lifted up his eyes to heaven’. Here is the Lord’s prayer. Here, as it were, we enter the Holy of Holies. He was aware that the time for which He had come into the world was drawing near. This was the prospect that lay before Him. His mission was nearing completion.
The disciples had the privilege of hearing something of the closeness of the relationship between the Father and the Son. Space does not permit us to consider all that is in this lovely prayer of accomplishment, but we know that the Lord was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
In a different sense, there is a challenge for us today. Thinking of the lovely words of the Saviour to the blind man to whom He had given sight, we read, ‘Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee’, John 9. 37. Praise God He has opened our eyes to His glorious person and has given us spiritual eyes to appreciate who He is, what He has done for us in the past, His care for us in the present and the preparation He is making for us in the future.
What a joyous moment it was when Isaac saw Rebekah for the first time, Gen. 24. 63-67, and when Rebekah saw Isaac. This is a foretaste for believers. We will see our Lord with our own eyes but let us remember His joy will be complete when He sees us, and that forever. In a broader sense, Isaiah states, ‘He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied’, Isa. 53. 11. What a day that will be when ‘every eye shall see him’, Rev. 1. 7.