It's Right in Front of You

The face of Christ was unrecognizable. When Jesus was hanging on Calvary’s cross, He no longer even looked like Himself to those who knew Him and had been in His presence for three and a half years. Isaiah 52:14 (NKJV) says: “So His visage was marred more than any man,/ And His form more than the sons of men...”

And Isaiah 53:3 says: “And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;/ He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” Sometimes it’s easier to look away from Jesus’ piercing gaze, especially when we can’t see Him as He really is, or for Who He really is.

Have you ever found it easier to look away? Maybe it’s away from the gaze of desperate need and despair in the eyes of a homeless person. Or away from the eyes of someone with a disability who surprises you as you come around the corner while shopping at a grocery store. Or away from the glance of someone with whom you work and for whom, quite frankly, you really don’t hold the warmest place in your heart.

I’ve been on the “looking away” end all of the above situations, or something very similar, probably too many times to count. Let’s face it (no pun intended), sometimes it just feels like looking away is the most polite thing you can do under the circumstances. Otherwise, it’s simply a case of feeling “too close for comfort”. Intimacy can be awkward.

But Jesus never looks away. He always sees and accepts us as we are, for who we really are, and/or for who He knows we can become. But many times we don’t recognize the face of Christ in the faces of others. In Matthew 25:44-45, these words of Jesus are recorded: “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”

Sometimes Jesus is standing right in front of our eyes, but we can’t see Him. We don’t recognize Him. And sometimes, even when we do, we still choose to look away.
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