Seeing Christ

One of my biggest ‘themes’ I am learning in my journey of faith is what it means to see and recognize Christ for who he is. You may have read a post or two on this topic already. I guess I’m just struck with it because I feel like I read far too many accounts of people who should have known Christ when they saw him, but they missed him completely. They were offended at him, angry with him, they didn’t see him for who he was. What humbles me is that I realize I have much in common with those that missed him. Many knew the Scriptures. They should have seen the signs for the Messiah, and they didn’t. I know the Scriptures too, would I recognize Christ if I saw him today?

I’ll probably write on this again, since it seems to be my ‘theme’ right now. But I don’t want to write all negative, woe-is-me things either. Because, while there were many who missed Jesus, there were many who saw and followed him. What I want to see is what they saw. How did they know him when they saw him? I want to live a life of faith that sees, believes, and follows Christ.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God… (Luke 2:25-28 ESV)

The sermon at church on Sunday was over Luke 2 and I was particularly struck with this verse because it fits into this theme. While I have been noticing example of people who missed the Messiah when he was right in front of them, Simeon seemed to know immediately when he saw Christ, as a baby no less.

Why?

I’d say, in short, because he made it his life’s goal to look for the Messiah. It describes him as ‘righteous’ and ‘devout’–which is pretty good praise in the Bible. Clearly, he was intentional about his faith, and that faith guided his life. Sounds like a good start to recognizing Christ. I think the most striking thing we can observe in this passage, however, is the role of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is mentioned three times almost back to back. The Holy Spirit dwelled in him, he communicated with the Spirit, and he was led by the Spirit.

My prayer is to be like Simeon, and to be so attuned to the Holy Spirit that I truly see Christ for who he is. I desire to be righteous and devout, led not simply be mere understanding of the Scripture, but by a true understanding of who God is and a real, personal relationship with the Creator. May that be true of me and of you.

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