If You Want to Find Jesus, Don’t Look Within

Jan 15, 2018 5754

If you want to find Jesus don't look withinMany people want to find Jesus, but they look for him in the wrong places. If you want to find Jesus, don’t look within yourself.

This is the lesson of Peter’s disappointment when he looked for Jesus in the tomb. Christ had risen, and,

Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings [a]only; and he went away to his home… (Luke 24:12, NASB).

Peter was never going to see the risen Lord while he was “stooping down” (KJV) and looking inside the tomb. He went home disappointed and confused. Jesus was not there. He was risen (Matt 28:6)!

There are many people today who do the same thing as John did. It is a most natural and common mistake. They want to work out whether or not they are real Christians. In some way, they want to meet Jesus. And to do that, they look within the tomb. They do it by looking within. By self-examination and introspection, they try to find within their own hearts something that will give them confidence in their walk with God.

I used to do this too. I used to try to judge my standing as a Christian by looking within myself at my own thoughts and actions. But I was always discouraged. To look within oneself to find confirmation of our faith is a fruitless exercise.

If you look within you will only see death. That’s what happens when you look inside of tombs. Jesus called the Pharisees and the scribes “whitewashed tombs” (Matt 23:27.) Our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). Even at our best, “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isa 64:6). When Peter looked within the tomb, all he saw were the reminders of death: the used and bloodied grave clothes.

Don’t look within yourself to find faith. Look to Jesus.

To try to find the reality of God, or the confirmation of our faith, within our own hearts is like trying to secure a ship in a storm by throwing the anchor into the hold of the ship itself. That could never work! Instead, you must throw the anchor outside the ship. It must be lost to sight under the waves, to grip the rock itself.

If you want to know whether you are trusting in Jesus, don’t look within yourself to see if you have faith. Instead, you must exercise faith, by looking away from yourself, and to the proper Object of faith: Jesus Christ himself. It has been said that “faith is the eye of the soul.” Yet the eye does not look within itself in order to guide the body. Instead, the eye always looks to an external point of reference.

There is no hope in looking within, especially when the risen Lord is right next to you, waiting for you to look to him. A literal translation of Hebrews 12:2 tells us that we must be, “looking away to Jesus” or “looking off to Jesus”

What must we look away from? Ourselves! We must, like the three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, see “Jesus only” (Matt 17:8).

– Eliezer Gonzalez (inspired by Arthur Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John)

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Eliezer Gonzalez

Jan 23, 2018

Thanks Ursula. I love what you said here. Your love of Jesus is evident. I especially appreciate your comment about how we need to be careful not to be categorical about how each one of us experiences Christ. As you say, echoing the Scriptures, we will all be led by the Spirit, each according to our circumstances and needs. Perhaps I might clarify that my comments were about how one finds salvation, rather than how a person experiences Jesus in their lives after having being saved. Without any question whatsoever, the reality of the in-dwelling Christ, through the Spirit, is part of the core results and purpose of salvation.

Ursula Schrattenholzer

Jan 23, 2018

David pointed out Luke 17:21 from the NIV; the same verse in the amplified Bible reads: Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. I like the Amplified Bible because it amplifies and indicates that when we are born again something in us and around us changes. For me, it means, as Paul points out too in Colossians 1:27 NIV: 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. I very much enjoy hearing from Christians who live in a dynamic relationship with our glorious Jesus Christ, and I very much appreciate Eliezer's daily email. I do think, though, that we need to be ever so careful to refrain from categorically saying that we have to seek or believe in or experience Jesus in a certain way, because salvation and relationship in Jesus is an individual relationship and we have the privilege to personally be guided by Him and the Holy Spirit. I believe He initiates seeking us (Jeremiah 31: 3 AMPC I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continue my faithfulness to you); we seek Him in response to His drawing. His love and His faithfulness won me over; and I realize many will experience His seeking, His loving-kindness, and His faithfulness in different ways from my experience. That's why I love hearing other's experience of their relationship with Jesus; I experience fellowship in that way. God's Word, Jesus Christ, in the Bible is a very, very deep well for us, and He helps us develop our relationship with Him all along our life's journey. Paul talks about us and our fellowship with Him and each other in the first part of Philippians 2:1-11 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. He then, in verse 12 and 13 speaks about the privilege of our personal relationship with God when he says: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Praise and honor and glory to Him, our Creator, Redeemer, Healer ......, and Friend!

Nyakeh Duwai

Jan 22, 2018

well said

Eliezer Gonzalez

Jan 22, 2018

You are right David. I would simply point out that being born again is not the basis or reason or condition for our salvation. It is the inevitable result of our salvation, and its evidence in our lives.

Eliezer Gonzalez

Jan 22, 2018

Spot on, Tom!

Tom Durst

Jan 22, 2018

The Christian gospel is in stark contrast to all other religions, philosophies. and self-help programs which consume the masses. We are admonished over and over again to look to Jesus in the Bible. Self-help programs are based upon human will power; sometimes they give temporary relief to a struggling person but since there is no Savior in any of them over the long haul they lead to disappointment, lack of fulfillment and suffering in some form. Paul's summary of the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 along with Hebrews 12:1-2 say it all.

David Clark

Jan 21, 2018

When Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God, John 3:3 KJV "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." He was speaking of being the new creature in Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17 KJV "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In other words we can not live in sin, we must be a new creature. The creature He is speaking of is one who repents, Baptism of repentance, and turns to the righteousness of God. This is the Gospel. Jesus taught the Gospel for being born again, we now refer to the Gospel as believing in Christ for salvation, which is true but Jesus taught the Gospel before the crucifiction. Christ fulfilled the requirements of the Gospel to reconcile us to the Father, thereby salvation. When Jesus died He sent us the Holy Spirit to live within us, Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth. If we are born again we will strive to Live in that new born again creature. Born into the heart and mind of Christ, because Jesus is our example of righteousness. The born again process requires that we put off the old man and live in the new man, in Christ Jesus. To do this we evaluate all that we think, say and do and eliminate what does not line up with the heart, mind and love of Jesus. Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, He is our guide. When Jesus said Luke 17:21 KJV "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." He was speaking of the new born again creature we are to be and now with the Holy Spirit within us, we look within us to Christ and His Holy Spirit. Look to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit, within you to guide us into all truth, the truth of the heart, mind and Love of God, all three persons of God. Romans 8:29 KJV "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Matthew 11:5 KJV "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

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