Significant research in academia and a plethora of psychological studies suggest an inextricable nexus between what we see with our eyes and what we think, what we visually focus on and how we feel, even what we imagine and picture in our minds and how we behave. For this reason some researchers advise against viewing too much news because there appears to be a correspondence between watching bad news and depression – of course, wives knew this a long time ago. The business world has long understood the power in marketing or advertising by relating a product to an appealing image. And, church leaders have written profusely about the need for “vision” when planning for church growth.
This observation really isn’t new. Two thousand years ago Jesus noted the significance of sight and the power of vision in His sermon on the mount when He said “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore, your eye is healthy, your whole body shall be full of light. But, if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Mt. 6:22-23). Similarly, the Apostle Paul declared that Christians are transformed by beholding Christ: “though we look through a glass darkly…we are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Cor. 4:2) No wonder John the Baptist exhorted his disciples to “Behold [i.e., inspect intently, examine thoroughly] the Lamb of God.” (Jn. 1:29) No wonder Paul instructed the believers at Colosse, inundated with a cacophony of confusing philosophies, “If you…are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.” (Col. 3:1) The author of the letter to the Hebrews admonished the persecuted Jews in Jerusalem “let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking [i.e., fix your eyes] on Jesus…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1-2)
Just as the Israelites, bitten by the deadly serpents in the wilderness, were healed and saved by looking at the serpent of bronze [cf. origin of the medical symbol] so we live by beholding Jesus. How do you see the world? Has your uplook affected your outlook? Christ’s resurrection reminds up to keep looking up!