“Teacher eyes.” That’s what you call them. A concentrated stare that will melt the face of any pre-teen or teenager who dares to look into those laser-focused eyes.
My wife has “teacher eyes.” They have come in very handy during her years of being a high school teacher. And, sometimes, when I’ve done something bad, she turns those eyes on me and . . .
There are a variety of words we use when we are talking about our eyes’ doing what they are supposed to do: stare, bore into, glance, dart, peek, gaze, etc.
We are thinking one more day about this amazing text in Hebrews 12. There we read —
“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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
By faith we see this “great cloud of witnesses” who have predeceased us. We observe ourselves and “throw off everything that hinders” us in this race which is “marked out for us.” We focus our eyes on the life-track before us and we determine to “run with perseverance” that race. And we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
But wait! Are we talking about real objects, real people that can be seen with our physical eyes? No. That “great cloud of witnesses” is presently with the Lord Jesus. But, by faith, we recognize their example in walking by faith and not by sight! We don’t physically remove clothing (strip down) to run our race. This is a metaphor for getting serious about living out the Christian life God has purposed for us. And we don’t literally see a race track with lines and other racers. And, sadly, we don’t actually see our Savior at the end of the track urging us on.
Unless we understand that “fixing our eyes on Jesus” means living by faith. It means seeing those things that are eternal but are not presently visible to our human eyes. It means turning our gaze from the many enticing sights of the world to consciously directing our attention to the “pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
It is certainly counter-intuitive to speak of fixing our eyes on something or Someone we cannot actually see. But the term “see” is often used, not of physical vision, but of careful consideration, determined concentration, focused attention. And that’s what we are to give to the Lord Jesus.
And our looking to and at Him reminds us of His great sacrifice for us. Amazingly the writer to the Hebrews describes Christ’s atoning mission as “the JOY set before him.” We will think about that JOY in our next post. (to be continued)