NORMAN — I could never escape “the look.” Wordless, timeless; a defining moment filled with meaning, conviction, purpose, hope and love. The look has all this and more. I can get away with a lot of things, but the look transfixes me, anchors me and grounds me.
The look forces me to see the truth of things like no other.
We all come across a similar look in the faces of those we love, those we respect or people in position of authority like teachers or policemen. I remember as a teenager in church one Sunday the guest speaker was anything but interesting or lively. I decided to take matters into my own hand. So, I began to write notes or use my index finger and middle finger pretending to be a person running a mad race over books, knees and anything else. We began giggling and soon my dad was standing next to the pew giving me the look. Red faced, I wanted to disappear.
Wives are famous in their art of simulating the look. Husbands are caught flat-footed many times and are frozen in mid-sentence with that magical look from their lovely wives. Parents have this art as well. Just argue with your parents kids and the look will quickly surface with amazing results.
However, all such looks pale by comparison to the look that stirs the heart of our soul. Who has the look that causes such drama? Jesus Christ.
Consider Peter whom Jesus specifically picked out to be an apostle. Peter was excitable, strong willed, emotional, brazen, bold and courageous. But Jesus knew that Satan wanted to sift Peter like wheat. The Devil had inside knowledge (as he does with all of us) that the outwardly strong Peter had a weakness of the heart. Jesus prayed for the battle ahead, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32.
Based on Peter’s own rash statement Jesus predicted he would fallaway. Peter subsequently became filled with pride, cussing, lying and denying Jesus Christ. Sound like anyone you know?
Then the most important moment in Peter’s life occurred. “…Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:60-62.
The look from Jesus was a monumental shift for Peter. Peter, who had wept so bitterly, would later write in 2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” He was once a rebel but now a servant. What was once lost was now found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
The message of the cross cuts through the riff-raff and looks right into the heart of your soul. Jesus died to address your heart problem. God has always been interested in your heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Breathtaking and pivotal is the look from Jesus Christ.
He is looking at you through the Gospel message of Saving Grace. His love probes and stirs your heart. Just as Noah found “favor in the eyes of God” so can you. You may feel far from help but salvation is only a look away. Will today be the life-changing moment for you?