We all have loved ones that we long to see converted and saved. What will save the homosexual, fornicator and adulterer? What will cause the murderer, thief, thug, agnostic, atheist, pessimists, evolutionist, proabortionist, prejudice, drug user and alcoholic to repent and obey God (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). The mind of darkness and sin will only come to receive Christ by seeing him for what he truly is. Seeing Jesus will transform the mind from corruption to righteousness (see Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 1:12-14). The Apostle Paul is a great example of someone who turned from darkness to light because he saw Jesus (see Acts 22:16).
Paul completed his third tour of preaching by coming to Jerusalem with aid for the needy saints (see Acts 24:17). He is quickly apprehended by an angry mob of Jews and falsely accused of teaching that people should not circumcise their sons on the eight day and that the Mosaic Law is ineffective. He is also falsely charged of bringing a Gentile, by the name of Trophimus, into the temple of God at Jerusalem. Paul delivers five defenses of his actions from Acts chapters 22 through 26. As we approach a study of his final defense the significance of his words begin to sink in. Paul's defense before the magistrates of Palestine leaves us Imagewith concrete knowledge regarding man's salvation. Paul tells his audience that he too once lived contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ yet that which changed him forevermore was seeing the Lord on the road to Damascus. All who would come to be Christians must see Jesus.
Seeing; however, is not always believing. Though King Agrippa knew of Jesus and the Mosaic Law that pointed to him he did not see Jesus (see Acts 26:24-29). Though Thomas called Didymus saw Jesus he did not believe (John 20:24ff). Jesus asks Thomas a question saying, "Do you believe because you see me?' (CEB John 20:29). The Nestle Marshal Interlinear reads, "Because thou hast seen me hast thou believed?"
Jesus' question to Thomas infers that the disciple really doesn't have the kind of faith that acts out in obedience. Jesus earlier said, " Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand..." (Matthew 13:13). Though one may confess that Jesus is the Christ that profession of faith means nothing without an accompanying obedience (see John 3:36; Acts 26:19, 29 and Hebrews Il:lff).
People come to see Jesus two ways. First, people see Jesus through the gospel message. Jesus is a living personification of truth. The Apostle Paul equates Jesus to the word of God at Colossians 1:24-29. If I see truth, as revealed in the gospel, then I see Jesus. The gospel calls upon all to hear, believe, repent, confess the name of Christ, be baptized for the remission of sins and live faithfully ever more. If I truly see Jesus I will obey his words and follow his plan of salvation. If I truly see truth, as revealed in the gospel, I see Jesus. A second way that people come to see Jesus is by looking at a Christian. Jesus had explained to his disciples that when they see him they see the heavenly Father (see John 14:8-9). The Lord Jesus explains the oneness that exists between himself, the heavenly Father, and all disciples at John 17. The factor that connects all into one is the gospel of Jesus Christ (see John 17:16-21). When the world sees the Father they see Jesus and when they see Jesus they see the Christian. Every true Christian is a living representation of all that Christ taught (see Romans 8:29-30). When I live and talk as Christ the world sees Jesus through me. The wicked of the world will be transformed only by seeing Jesus!
The Apostle Paul said that he had learned some secrets (see Philippians 4:1012). We see the secret to changing the wicked of the world. The secret to have the ungodly change is to help them see Jesus. Too many today are seeing a preconceived fabricated Jesus that has never existed. Jesus is not a tolerant Santa clause that gives his gift of salvation to those who refuse to see him for what he truly is (see John 8:42-47). Church bingo, hot dog cookouts, basketball programs, singles clubs, hospitals, and church supported elderly communities will not save one single soul. All, like Paul, must come to see Jesus through truth (Romans 10:17)
John C Robertson