Acts 1:8 (KJV) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The world of the Disciples had been turned upside down by His influence, teachings, and model. He had been all their Hope, their Dreams, and their Security. But – Jesus was leaving! Jesus had prepared them for such a time as this. They were ready to continue His work – the Will of the Father. They were more prepared than they knew. All they had to do was follow His model. They just needed to take one step at a time – one day at a time! What do we learn from these disciples that will help us in “such a time as this?” We must…
Please consider these Scriptures again…
Acts 1:10-11 (KJV) “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Emphasis Added).
Please reread the words that I highlighted in “bold” print. Did you notice that the angels, “two men stood by them in white apparel” did not correct the Disciples for looking toward heaven? They challenged the Disciples for “Standing There!”
The Mission of Jesus must be carried forward; therefore, the Disciples had to “LEAVE” the Hill, “LOVE” like Jesus, and “LIVE” like Jesus as a witness to His Death and Resurrection. Now, they must return to Jerusalem, and the world, and “LOOK” like Jesus – to “See” as Jesus did.
No one faced trials and suffering more than Jesus. From the time that God prophesied of His coming (Genesis 3:15), His conception (Luke 1:38), His Birth (Luke 2:7), and ultimately His Death (Luke 23:46), Jesus faced ridicule, rejection, and resistance. Yet for all this, He never took His eyes off His Father’s Purpose, Plan, and Passion. Jesus did not become hardened to the needs of the lost. His “gaze” was always on His Father and His lost humanity.
I became acquainted with what is known as the “1,000 Yard Stare.” This is “A battlefield syndrome in which a soldier may become lost in thought due to stress from the fight. The 1,000 Yard Stare is named such because the soldier may seem to be focusing on an object very far away and may even become unresponsive to external stimuli. The phrase was coined during the Vietnam war.” –Urban Dictionary
Scripture presents a “Stare” on the face of Jesus that projected His determination and destination to fulfill His Mission.
Luke 9:51 (KJV) “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,” (Emphasis Added).
Jesus was “LOOKING” to the what His Father had designed for Him – Calvary! He had to go to Jerusalem to fulfill the Plan of Salvation. The Disciples had to “LOOK” toward Jerusalem to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, then they had to “LEAVE” Jerusalem to continue the Plan of Salvation – “Seek and to Save” the lost!
How we “LOOK” is very important. “Look” at the following…
Mark 8:15-18 (KJV) “And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?” (Emphasis Added).
Most human beings can see through their physical eyes. Gratefully, only a small percentage are physically blind. Sadly, most of humanity is spiritually blind. When Jesus spoke these Scriptures to His Disciples, they too were spiritually blind. When Jesus accepted His Anointing and Calling, He knew He had been anointed to provide “recovering of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18).
Where we “LOOK” is vitally important!
While Jesus healed some of those who suffered from physical blindness, He always taught a spiritual lesson in such healing. You will recall the Scriptural setting wherein Jesus healed a blind man. He did this after teaching His Disciples about needing to have their “spiritual vision” healed.
Jesus entered the city of Bethsaida and some folks brought a blind man to Jesus to see if He could, or would, heal him. Jesus led the blind man away from unbelievers (“out of town”), spit on his eyes, and asked him if he saw anything. Pay close attention…
Mark 8:24 (KJV) “And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.”
Did you “catch” it? The first thing anyone does who is healed of blindness is to “look up!”
The blind man did what anyone would do who was healed physically – “He looked up!” BUT, Jesus desired to heal this man’s vision completely – physical and spiritual. “LOOK” at this Scripture closely…
Mark 8:25 (KJV) “After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly” (Emphasis Added).
Now, before anyone accuses me of being unreasonable, or “super spiritual,” let me explain that I fully understand that Jesus was presenting a physical healing. However, Jesus NEVER did anything that was just physical. Whatever Jesus did, impacted the spiritual realm as well!
Jesus “made him look up” before the blind man was restored. Such is the case with each of us! IF we are going to “Look” like Jesus did, we will always “Look Up!” You see, we can “look up” spiritually while we are looking down physically.
Psalm 121:1 (KJV) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help” (Emphasis Mine).
Do we really think that the Psalmist was saying he was only lifting his eyes up to the physical hills that were around him? He was also “Looking” to the “Hills of Zion” that were in heaven.
Psalm 48:1-2 (KJV) “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Emphasis Added).
After Jesus had His marvelous encounter with the woman of Samaria, she returned to her city and told the people about Jesus. They came out to see Jesus. “LOOK” at what Jesus tells His Disciples…
John 4:35 (KJV) “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (Emphasis Added).
YES! He was telling them to “LOOK” on the people! BUT, they had to “LIFT” their eyes to “see” them spiritually! Oh, Lord, please help us to see spiritually!!
“Looking Up” is critical to walking in victory and serving the Lord successfully. Jesus told His Disciples that some “signs” would take place before He returned. He told them what to do to encourage themselves…
Luke 21:28 (KJV) “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Emphasis Added).
We know that none of the Disciples, to whom He gave this encouragement, lived to see any of these signs. Nonetheless, the principle that Jesus gave applied to them, and to us, in their trials – especially, when they were about to be martyred for their faith. IN every trial, “redemption draweth nigh!” Jesus IS the Redeemer! He is the REDEMPTION! He is near us in every trial; but, we must “LOOK UP” to see Him!
Continuing the Mission of Jesus – the Plan of Salvation – will require that we continually “LOOK” to the spiritual.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV) “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (Emphasis Mine).
The reason we must continue to “LOOK UP,” is so that we present the same “Stare” that Jesus did as He determined to fulfill His Mission. We know that Jesus will return; therefore, we live each day as though today IS the “day!
Hebrews 9:28 (KJV) “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Emphasis Mine).
Regardless of when Jesus will return, we live as if this were the moment, and desire that He will be pleased when we “LOOK” upon His Face!
2 Peter 3:11-14 (KJV) “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (Emphasis Mine).
A little boy was flying his kite one clear, windy day. His kite was masterfully crafted and aerodynamically precise; therefore, getting the kite launched into the air was very easy. He kept giving the kite more string length until he could not longer see it. A man came up to him, stood by his side for a few minutes, and said, “Hey kid, where’s your kite?”
The young man said, “It’s high in the sky, soaring like I created it to.”
The man asked, “How do you know it’s still soaring? I can’t see it.”
The young man said, “Sir, I don’t have to see it. I can feel it tugging at the end of my string.”