Jesus had a close relationship with His Disciples, but within His ministry He often had to focus on the bigger picture. In order for His mission to be accomplished He needed to keep His eyes on His Heavenly Father, and so did the Disciples. Not only was Jesus’ character being tested by the Jewish leaders, it was being tested by His friends. His focus had to be on His Heavenly Father, which we need to do.
Every day I am presented with small tests to keep my focus on my heavenly Father. I’m constantly pressed for time and in need of patience as I try to organize work, house work, children, find meaningful time with my husband, and quiet time for myself just to stop and think. For instance, as I was grading school papers this afternoon, my little son came up to me and said, “Mommy, play?” Meaning, he wanted some attention and wanted me to play with him. I felt the need to keep grading because I was up against a deadline. Looking at his little 2 year-old face I gained a larger perspective of things. I could grade the tests during his nap time. Setting the papers aside, I began to give him some time and play with him. It would be nice if I chose this opportunity more often. The truth is, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I miss these wonderful moments because I am caught up in things that can be done later.
Jesus was trying to explain the amazing gift of salvation to the Disciples. They were listening, but they didn’t really hear what Jesus was saying. It was so far from what they wanted or perhaps expected to hear from Him, that they missed what was important. They were so focused on their immediate needs and didn’t see that the Lamb of God was about to be placed on the altar of Calvary. This was the defining moment that would FREE the world from the snares of sin.
This verse inspires me: “For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?” (ASV). It’s all about perspective. What’s in our view? Are we seeing the big picture? Are we open to the teachings of the Holy Spirit? My goal is to keep focusing on Jesus. What about yours?
Joey Norwood Tolbert
M.A. in Religious Studies