Seeing Through The Eyes of Jesus
Sermon by Dr. Albert C. Grier
Someone has said that no one can understand a great man until he himself has achieved something of that same greatness. If that is a law, that we cannot understand nor appreciate any statement until something of its greatness has come into our own lives, we could not possibly see as Jesus saw unless very much of his consciousness has become ours. That would almost forbid me to attempt to report what the eyes of Jesus saw as he looked upon this world; and yet we are compelled to do this very thing by the genius of Jesus’ teaching, for he told his disciples that they must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. That was a drastic statement for so sane a man as Jesus Christ to make; but of course he spoke of the flesh of his understanding and the blood of his spirit.
It must be the endeavor of everyone who would follow the Master, to think, see and understand, as he thought, saw and understood. No mock modesty or sense of unworthiness must be permitted to stand in the way of this definite attempt. We should imitate him, not by slavish action, custom or manner, but with the belief that whatever heights he reached in consciousness, are likewise for us, makes it possible for me to endeavor to tell what I believe Jesus’ eyes saw as he looked upon this world and upon the life of man in this world.
We must endeavor to put ourselves in the place of Jesus Christ, with his consciousness and his understanding, if we are to see in this world and in this life what he saw. It is not a presumptuous thing; it is a necessary thing if we are to grow into his image and likeness.
How did Jesus see this world? What did he see as he looked out upon this life? In the first place he did not see what anyone else saw. No two people live in the same world. You may live as close as you can to another, and your world and his are absolutely separate. No two men walking down the avenue will look on the same world. We often forget that, but it is true - each one looks through the eyes that are colored by all of his previous experience, all of his acquirement in knowledge and consciousness. No two people occupy the same place, therefore no two see the same thing.
What did Jesus see as he looked out upon this world? Let us imagine him looking upon the same exterior world upon which we are looking, to see how he would see it. I believe, and I believe firmly, that Jesus looked upon this world as a little child looks upon it- with all of the glad freshness of the childlike mind - and who can say what this is? Richard Tealf calls it "our lost hemisphere," that vernal hemisphere that we looked upon when we were children, that fresh new world, that personal world, that world that was a fairyland.
I can remember when a piece of broken colored glass was a treasure to me. I wonder if I can get as much joy from a diamond today as I got from that bit of glass when a little boy. We probably say that was just the immaturity of childhood, but let us not make that mistake. What we saw as children was not clouded by our experiences, as we call them - our heartaches, our disillusionments, our education.
All that the scientists of the world add to the knowledge of man is no substitute nor exchange of value for that lost hemisphere. I believe that Jesus Christ looked upon this world with the clear eyes of childhood, and said: ‘Except ye become as little children ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.’
It is the function of Truth to restore to men their lost childhood - to restore that vision of the world that they had as little children. The Truth is unveiling the eye, uncovering the soul to Reality, and whenever I see a soul born into this Reality my heart rejoices. Occasionally I have been told by people that when the veil has been lifted in a measure, the vision was not new to them, for as little children they thought they had been born in that kind of a world. To a large degree the thought and reality of that kingdom has been destroyed by teachers telling us that it is illusion.
In the book, Child and Country , Will Leavinston Comfort, who was a teacher, tells of an essay written by a little girl about twelve years old, in which she said that before she went to school, she always believed that the reason that birds raised their heads when they took a drop of water, was to give thanks to God. But the teacher taught her that it was because the birds could not swallow without doing so. Scientifically that is true, but the teacher had reduced the little girl to what we call common sense, and had destroyed a beautiful concept. There can be no substitute for the lost vision of a child that is just fresh from the hand of God, glorious in the light of primitive morning.
The child sees this world as a fairyland, as a wonderful stage; but we older ones have to go to the theater to regain a little of that vision. We pay extravagant prices to witness productions with their lights, colors and tinsel and all of the glitter and glare of stage effect, that we may have awakened in us the glories of that primitive morning. With the stars in the sky, we go into a theatre, forgetting we have a fairyland about us that no artist can give us.
I love beautiful paintings, but on every side are thousands of things much more beautiful and wonderful than any artist has been able to produce. All paintings are insignificant compared with the Great Reality, and yet we abandon Reality and seek artificialitys. Jesus looked upon the world with the eyes of a child and saw a fairy world filled with wondrous things and he beheld one scene of a play after another, just as we did when we were children.
I believe that Jesus Christ looked out into such a world with a constant, instant expectation of some new display of beauty, and I believe he looked upon the life of man as part of this phantasmagoria, this fairy exhibition. I am sure that he looked upon life as a great adventure.
Life really is a great adventure instead of the burden which it seems to be for so many people. It is not a liability, but the greatest adventure in all the universe, and Jesus saw it as such. Do you think that Jesus saw this life as a vale of tears? Do you think he was just trying to show us a way of getting through a life of difficulty?
We can never enter into his life as long as we hold the attitude that most men do. We must come in with that childlike spirit of his that saw that the glory of the world is the great adventure, the adventure of God. God has a tremendous interest in mankind, and with infinite love, wisdom and resources He is unfolding this glorious thing called life.
Let us not say that we are in the Truth until every day brings some fresh surprise, with something glorious for us; nor as long as we forget the many good things and remember the unpleasant things which occur. According to our faith shall it be done unto us, and faith is expectancy. I believe that Jesus lived in the fairyland of divine expectation.
What else could he expect, from an infinitely good and loving Father, but good? Jesus looked upon the world in the glory with which it was baptized in the beginning and has never lost. He saw life as an infinite source of beautiful things and it followed that Jesus was the one happy man of all history, because he saw more truly with the eyes of God, than any other man has ever seen. Seeing with the eyes of God, he could see only good, he could experience only good.
The Bible records that Jesus wept, but remember, please, that it is the unusual things that are recorded. I am sure that you would not find a report of how the elevators in some hotel went up and down safely all day, but if one slipped and dropped the news would probably be in every paper of the Associated Press. It was so unusual for Jesus not to have the happy spirit that it was recorded once, that he wept. He saw humanity living in this fairyland not knowing anything about its glories. He saw men living life and finding it a burden; expressing poverty while living in a world of infinite wealth. Jesus wept because mankind failed to see the glory he saw; wept because he saw men in ignorance when there was knowledge, and they would not learn; in sickness when there was health which they would not take; and in poverty when there were infinite resources they would not accept. His soul was burdened because men would not accept their own divinity.
Although mankind did not accept his revelation and enter into his clear vision, we have but one record that Jesus wept, for he saw beyond - saw what was going to be accomplished, saw that time is a small element and so his heart was not saddened nor its brightness dimmed by the sin of the world.
How did Jesus see God? Many people think he saw God as a separate entity. We believe he saw God as spirit, in everything. He saw God in the lilies of the field, in the eyes of a child; he saw God everywhere, but most of all he saw him in man, and to a degree that probably few realize. Jesus said to his disciples: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.’ Jesus saw God not as a separate being walking the earth, but as the spirit of the universe. He saw him closer than near - for nearness implies some separation.
He saw him as identical will all things and beings, and he saw him as available; saw him as a potency and a presence that was sufficient to all things. There was nothing that Jesus wanted that he did not ask God for. Once he and his follower were hungry, so he told his God he wanted some fish and some bread, and the fish and the bread were instantly there. When he wanted to pay taxes, he told God of his need and the fish came up from the sea with the money in its mouth. When he asked God to heal a girl who was very ill, she was instantly made well. When Jesus told his Father that he wanted the dead son of the widow restored to the mother, the son was instantly made alive.
God is the same today, but we do not see Him as Jesus saw Him, for if we did, he would do for us what he did for Jesus Christ. God shows no partiality. He has no favorites. He gave us His Son who saw Him aright, and sent the Son to make us aware of this tender, loving Father, who fills all space, and whose intelligence, love and power are available for every one of His children.
How did Jesus look upon himself? Perhaps that is the most important question that we have asked. How did Jesus see himself? We have a marvelous picture of this drawn in the New Testament. In the first place he saw himself as an empty vessel and he said: ‘I can of mine own self do nothing,’ and he did not try to do anything by himself. Again he said: ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,’ recognizing the Father and the fact that man’s unlimited power comes from God. The fault of man, as Emerson tells us, is the fault of trying to be something of ourselves.
Jesus also saw himself as a messenger - and I love this aspect of him. God had been trying to send a messenger to men for a long time, he had tried to tell them everything they needed to know, but men did not understand God’s language. He had been sending messages every time a breeze blew, every time a flower blossomed or a leaf fell. All were from God to the souls of men, but men could not understand, and so Jesus came as an interpreter bearing the messages of the Father, and every word he gave us makes us aware of the very things of which he was aware.
Jesus saw himself not as one, unique alone, different from others, but he saw himself as that which every man is in Reality but does not fully realize. He did not make himself different but said: ‘The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works than these shall ye do’ - and therein lies the hope of the world because no message that came from God to man in a mechanical way could set men free. It is only as each of us becomes a messenger from God that the work is accomplished. Jesus came to make us aware that we too are messengers of God, for whoever by his life awakens in another soul that which God could not awaken without the instrumentality of another, becomes a messenger of God.
How did he look upon his fellowmen? He looked upon them as being like unto himself, but he saw more than that, he saw their unity. The very genius of Jesus’ revelations was the genius of unity, not only that there is but one God, but that all things are parts and portions, and in a sense the whole of that God; that is, the whole of God is present in each part. Jesus saw the unity of God with himself and also his unity with all men. The prayer of his heart was twofold: first, that he and his Father should be so perfectly at-one in his consciousness that the unity, planned by God from the beginning, should be expressed in him, next , that his disciples and followers should have, through their recognition of him, a definite knowledge of the unity between themselves and God - that same unity that was between him and God.
How did Jesus see life? Did he see life as many men do? Did he see a series of calamities and then death, with only a hope that there was something beyond? Jesus saw with the clear eye of God; he saw the limitlessness of life; he saw the infinite trend of being - back to God. He saw this little life as one in which the soul is having its education, each soul going through an infinite number of rooms in the Father’s house - the universe in which we live - for the purpose of making the soul of man aware of its infinite possibilities.
He saw life as the great university which has for its purpose the bringing into the consciousness of each individual, the unity of life, the possession of each quality of Godhood to an infinite degree. He saw only spiritual brotherhood. To him all human relationships disappeared as fundamentals and he said: ‘For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister and mother.’
How did he look upon the sins of the world? He saw man as all that he himself was, but man did not see himself thus. Jesus saw men acting upon other postulates, upon other foundations, and sin means acting upon some other premise than the premise of the great Truth. He saw that all the sin of the world was error.
We must see that his world is a fairyland, not simply in the sense that it is a land where there are a great man beauties, where there are many glorious things, but that it is a world of infinite perfection - - where everything is absolutely perfect. That is the Kingdom of Heaven which he tells us is absolutely perfect, and in this the vision of the greatest seer the world has ever known, we have the secret of his power. Jesus by that consciousness, by the potency of his soul, by the clearness of his vision, healed. He saw man’s perfect nature as it is in the Kingdom of Heaven.
If we were able to see with the childlike eyes as Jesus saw, if we can see with spiritual eyes the prefectness of God’s Kingdom for anybody, or vision the perfectness of the perfect kingdom, it will manifest in the expression of that life. That is the secret of Jesus’ power and it is the secret of our power.
When we see the universe as Jesus beheld it, we shall have fulfilled in us his promise - ‘The works that I do shall ye do’ - for to see as he saw is to know the Truth and to know the Truth is to be free.
Open our eyes, Heavenly Father, that we may see with that same clear sight with which Jesus saw. Then shall we dissolve the clouds which envelop the world.
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