– Hebrews 12:2
A Single Focus
It’s impossible to focus on more than one thing at a time–at least it is for me. I cannot fix my eyes upon one thing while focusing on something else, so in this same way, we must make our focal point Jesus Christ and not the things around us. When Peter actually walked on water for a brief time, he was okay as long as he kept his focus on Jesus. It was only “when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me’” (Matt. 14:30)! That’s when “Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt’” (Matt 14:31)? How was Jesus able to keep Peter from drowning? Peter had to take his eyes off the winds and fix them back on Jesus so that he was able to be kept from sinking.
Paul often compared the Christian’s life to that of a runner who strains ahead and reaches forward toward the finish line. But no runner who keeps looking back over their shoulder can be successful. Paul wrote, “I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12b-14).
Seeing With the Eyes of Faith
None of us have ever seen Jesus in person, but we still believe in Him. Peter had seen Jesus, but he still wrote to those who hadn’t, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:8-9). Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29b). We cannot see Jesus now, but we can see His Word, and that is the Bible. Since Jesus is the Word (John 1:1, 14), we can see Jesus in the Word. We see Jesus with the eyes of faith, faith that He lived a sinless life and died to reconcile us to God. We shall know Him in Person someday, seeing Him face to face for the first time (1 Cor. 13:12). That’s enough for me.
The author of Hebrews gives us most excellent advice: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), which is why we must “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb. 12:1), and we shall not stumble as long as we fix our eyes upon Jesus.