They fill me with a perplexing mix of joy and dread. They look at me—at ME!—and I can't escape their view. They see my need, but more, they also see ME for who I REALLY am. Before them I am transparent, utterly without concealment, and known in far greater depth than I even know myself. I remember:
No creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13).
What's with the eyes?
The Apostle John (in Revelation 1:14) describes Jesus in His eternal glory as having “eyes like a flame of fire.” That's the phrase I remember best from this section of Scripture. Maybe it's because I memorized two different “Eye of the Lord” Bible verses when I was just a lad; they have rung in my head ever since:
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless before him (II Chronicles 16:9).
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3).
I know the Lord is present everywhere. But I forget that He WANTS to be there, and that He actively exists in every place with His eyes actively searching out hearts and minds and motives and desires. He actively knows every detail from every possible perspective.
And His eyes are aflame. Holiness. Purity. Perfection. And burning zeal for His glory. I'm not only uncovered in His sight, I am undone. All my impurities stand out in stark contrast to His holiness.
I am grateful for the way Jesus revealed His character to us when He lived here—when He was emptied of His eternal glory and “found in the likeness of men.” His eyes must have been something to see. Look at the way the Apostles saw them:
He saw a large crowd and felt compassion for them (Matthew 14:14).
When the Lord saw her, he felt compassion for her (Luke 7:13).
Seeing the people, he felt compassion for them (Matthew 9:36).
Many times the writers of the New Testament join the Lord's compassion to His perception. From His sight flows mercy.
When I couple these two realities together—the holy fire of His perfect vision with His character of mercy and compassion—I breathe a genuine sigh of relief. He sees me; He knows me; He still loves me and cares for my needs.
But I find that my knowledge of His perfect perception changes ME! The fire purifies me. I act differently when I know He's watching.
I wonder how Peter felt when, after he denied the Lord three times, “the Lord turned and looked at" him (Luke 22:61). Apparently the denial took place close to where Jesus was being illegally tried. And the Lord knew Peter would fail, and looked directly at him when the sin was complete. “And Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
Lord Jesus, as I enter a new year, please remind me often of Your presence—Your holy, fiery, blazing perfection. And may I humbly fall at Your perfect, holy feet to praise You for Your compassion and mercy! Let me see you seeing me before I am brought to tears and bitter weeping.