The revelation of Jesus to a needy world is helped along by “Jesus Sightings” — that is, transformed Jesus followers being mistaken for Jesus. This is driven by God’s goal for every believer to be transformed into the image of his son. Because this is God’s goal, there is a longing in every Christian to be made into the image of God’s son. I don’t know exactly when this became my ultimate goal, but it was early in my journey as his follower. I am sure a big part of this came from my Baptist upbringing. As a young person I went off to church camp and one of my favorite songs from those early experiences had the refrain,
“Oh to be like thee, oh to be like thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as thou art. Come in thy sweetness, come in thy fullness, stamp thine own image deep on my heart.”
The seeds of this perspective took root in my being. At some point I concluded that this would be my ultimate goal — to be like Christ. And, in the climax of this transformation, the problems of my brokenness and my sins are finally resolved. In the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the amazing new potential breaks forth — the restoration of all things. In the age to come is the promise of a new spiritual body in an environment free from sin, sorrow and pain.
The longing to be brought to a place of wholeness and peace is universal. In the model prayer Jesus prayed that this future reality would be experienced by his people now — “on earth as it is in heaven.” This deep seated desire is an apologetic for God’s existence. Every person knows that things are not as they should be in this world so characterized by injustice. All people know that there has to be a better way.
In Jesus’ time on earth he was the embodiment of true humanity. His words and actions revealed exactly what God was like and what God was up to — namely creating a people for himself who accurately reflected his perfect son.
On an individual level I want Jesus to capture me and live in and through me in a way that reveals Jesus to the world. I want God’s work in me to result in “Jesus Sightings” to people I encounter each day. In fact, Delores and I often pray that we will be Jesus to those we encounter.
The Mirror Image
The clear teaching of Jesus is that we are to see the face of Jesus in every person we meet. In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus makes a “bone-rattling” statement, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” I find it quite sobering that I am ministering to Jesus in all of my attitudes and actions with others. To me, this represents the reality of ultimate accountability to God for my life. When I am conscious of this it changes my interactions with people — for the better. And the corollary is this — as I see Jesus in the face of others, they will perceive Jesus ministering to them through me, that is, a “Jesus Sighting”. God make it so!
Delores and I continue to move forward in our work of building the church through coaching, mentoring, and intercessory prayer. We so appreciate the love, support, and encouragement we receive from you. May you be Jesus to those you encounter as you see the face of Christ in every person you meet.
Yours for the sake of God’s kingdom,
Scott — for the two of us