This year I have embraced a spiritual discipline that I have not done before. My intention, as my friend Steve Gaines likes to say, "is to get into the Word so the Word gets into me." I am reading through the Old Testament once this year, and the New Testament monthly. By the year's end, I will have read the New Testament through 12 times. My first two trips through the New Testament were in the New American Standard translation. This month, I decided to read Eugene Peterson's paraphrase, The Message.
As I read his "Introduction to Matthew," I found an insightful reminder of the critical importance of seeing all of life through the eyes of Jesus: "Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God's creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives--work, family, friends, memories, dreams--also completed in Jesus. Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth" (p.11).
What sticks out as I read this passage is the word, "context." The Father's intention is that the life of Jesus Christ should provide the context of our lives. Our beliefs, our values, our allegiances, our decisions should all be informed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Because He is Lord, He has the right to define truth, reality, value, relationships, our decisions, our plans, and our priorities.
No problem should be solved, no decision or plan made without asking Him what He thinks about it. "Lord, is this your will? Does it honor You? Is this consistent with the truth You revealed in Your Word? Am I doing what You want?" That's what it means to see life through the eyes of Jesus. I am praying that you will purpose in your heart to live your life in that context. And why should we do this?
Jesus was not just a great prophet, a great religious leader, or inspiring personality. He was and is Almighty God who humbled Himself and took on the form of a human being. He came to earth with the expressed purpose of reconciling each person to the Father. He came to repair the broken relationship. In Paul's words, "He came to bring us to God." In His own words, "if you have seen Me (Jesus), you have seen the Father." And the Father wants us in His family. Now that Jesus has come, He wants us to live. He shows us how. Jesus never turned away anyone unless they refused to come on His terms. Let's let Him provide the context of our lives! Let's purpose in our hearts to see life through the eyes of Jesus!