Friday, December 14
Fixing our eyes on Jesus
Scripture: Hebrews 12-13, Jude
Hebrews 12:1–2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus. The Greek word is aphorao, which literally means “to look away,” but the idea was to look away from other things so that you could fix your attention on something; “to direct one’s attention without distraction, to fix one’s eyes.”
The author of Hebrews uses the metaphor of a race. We look away from anything that distracts us—the crowd, the other runners—and we focus our attention on the finish line: Jesus. Or to use a very contemporary image: a basketball player shooting a free throw focuses on the goal (the rim) and shuts out all the other distractions, particularly the opposing crowd who is yelling and waving noodles.
Here is the goal of my race: Jesus. I want to know Him, love Him, follow Him, and be like Him. There are so many other things clamoring for my attention—so many fans waving noodles in my face while I’m trying to shoot my free throw! I need to keep my eyes on Jesus. It’s a matter of constantly refocusing, constantly looking away from other things that distract and back to Jesus.
This helps—my daily time in the Word and prayer. And it helps to remember what race I’m in. In the final analysis, my life isn’t about money, success, or achievement. There is nothing wrong with those—but they are not the finish line in my race. Jesus is.
I say this all the time: correct back to Jesus. This is another example. When you discover that your gaze has shifted and you’re looking at a different goal, look back to Jesus. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, I know I need to give attention to many things. Help me do that without losing my focus on Jesus.