The Jesus Lens

“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2 TEV)

Most of us try to live with one eye on Jesus and one eye on the world. The only thing that does is give us double vision.

Following Jesus down the narrow path and through the narrow gate into the Kingdom of Heaven with double vision is more difficult than a drunk trying to stay steady and straight while touching his nose or walking heel-to-toe down the line.

I’ve had double vision ever since junior high, when a linebacker swept his forearm through the ball, unintentionally using his elbow like a pile driver, smashing through my glasses and driving them into the bottom ridge of my right eye socket. The muscle under my right eye was permanently weakened, so it tilts up ever so slightly, just enough to keep my eyes from lining up together in coordinated vision.

You can imagine how disorienting life can be when there’s always a double-image of the things you see. Imagine driving. Imagine trying to pour yourself a glass of tea. It can drive you crazy, not to mention give you a huge, daylong headache.

This is how so many of us try to follow Jesus. We keep one eye on the world and the other on the Kingdom — and that skews everything we see. Our focus is constantly shifting from one image to the other. We stumble along, trying to walk a straight line but instead staggering between what is right and what we think is right. And we call this normal; we call this discipleship.

We were never meant to walk with double vision, and seeing double doesn’t give you a double-focus because — this I know well — you can’t focus on anything when you’re seeing more than one image. By its very nature, double vision is unfocused.

Eventually, double vision corrects itself because your brain chooses one eye over the other — the damaged one. When we aren’t intentional on seeing the whole of reality through the eyes of Jesus, we most likely will default into a damaged view of the world.

When Jesus gives us his eyes, he shows us how citizens of the Kingdom are able to see. He adjusts our vision so that we can see the whole of reality. We can see the Kingdom truth that all things come from Jesus, go through Jesus, and come back to Jesus (Romans 11:36).

Seeing Kingdom reality while living in this world is not about alternating between two pairs of glasses as your circumstances change. It’s more like wearing bifocals. I wear bifocals because my lens correct so I can see far — into eternity. The bifocal allows me to see what is up close while still looking through the larger lens — the Jesus lens. I don’t have one eye on the world and one eye on the Kingdom. I have both eyes “fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end” (Hebrews 12:2 TEV).

Talk About It

  • How do you see differently when you intentionally see the people and circumstances around you through the Jesus lens?
  • What circumstances have you made a conscious choice to view through the world’s perspective?

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at Copyright © 2017 Jon Walker. Used by permission.