What We See When We Look at Jesus

Looking down the centuries to the coming of Jesus Christ, Isaiah put two things together: the birth of a child and the shining of a light. The birth of the child produces illumination, a great light to a darkened people.

It’s precisely at this point—when we see the birth of Jesus as the invasion of God into our lives—that light shines. God didn’t give us an explanation about the meaning of life in general or the meaning of our own lives in particular. Instead, he gave us a Son. This Son showed us what we need to know about ourselves and about God so that we can live without stumbling around in the dark.

When we look at Jesus, we see God dwelling among us, and we see ourselves dwelling in God. When we talk about Jesus as the Light of the world, this then is what we mean: a Flame of life that burns within us, ascending to the Father; a Light to walk by, illuminating both our origin and our destiny.

The people who walked in darkness

    have seen a great light.

For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—

    light! sunbursts of light!

You repopulated the nation,

    you expanded its joy.

Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!

    Festival joy!

The joy of a great celebration,

    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.

The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—

    all their whips and cudgels and curses—

Is gone, done away with, a deliverance

    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.

The boots of all those invading troops,

    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,

Will be piled in a heap and burned,

    a fire that will burn for days!

For a child has been born—for us!

    the gift of a son—for us!

He’ll take over

    the running of the world.

His names will be: Amazing Counselor,

    Strong God,

Eternal Father,

    Prince of Wholeness.

His ruling authority will grow,

    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.

He’ll rule from the historic David throne

    over that promised kingdom.

He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing

    and keep it going

With fair dealing and right living,

    beginning now and lasting always.

The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies

    will do all this.

Isaiah 9:2-7, The Message

 

For Reflection

What has the love of Jesus taught you about yourself? How has the knowledge of his presence changed the way you approach each day?  


You have been reading an insight into Scripture found in The Message Devotional Bible, a special edition filled with reflections and notes from Eugene H. Peterson. This devotional Bible will both comfort and instruct you with insights and encouragement.

 

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