Many of us have a clear view of Jesus and still don't truly see Him. In this message, we look at the POV of a man in Mark 10 who was blind, yet saw Jesus clearly.
What's up, Porch? My name is JD. Quick shout-out to our Porch.Live locations with us every week. Y'all, help me welcome them strong from Dallas, Texas. We have Porch.Live Midland, Texas; Porch.Live Boise, Idaho; and Porch.Live Scottsdale, Arizona. Say hello from Dallas, Texas, everyone. Welcome them. Of course, my friends in the room, I'm so glad you are joining us on your Tuesday night.
We are heading into the third night of a series called POV where we are looking at stories of Jesus in the Gospels from Bible characters' points of view. We covered the disciples the first week and seeing different miracles. We covered Zacchaeus last week. Before we get to tonight's character and his point of view, I want to tell you about a point of view of mine. I'm going to go ahead and let you in. This might be the most vulnerable thing I've ever said from stage. This is a guilty pleasure.
I want to go ahead and give a few disclaimers. First, I know a lot of you men, specifically, are going to want to take my man card after what I'm about to say. I understand this might resonate with more of the female audience, which I'm okay with. Someone has to go first. I know there are more men out there who are silent, and this is your opportunity to be able to say, "Me too."
I also want to go ahead and say that since my college days, I have gotten a little more sanctified and like Christ, so please save your DMs, your emails. I know this is not a Christian television show. But a guilty pleasure of mine is I kind of like anything with the plotline involving vampires and werewolves. I know. Like, Twilight… I was in it. I went. Even worse, there's a show on Netflix, and I hate that it has this word in it, but it's The Vampire Diaries. (The high pitch of that scream is what I'm talking about. It's a problem. But Team Damon Salvatore all the way.)
I'll get to why that's relevant, because right now it's not really relevant. Flash back to college. I get asked to go spend my spring break in LA. We are there in SoCal visiting a friend who went to USC, and while we're there he's like, "Hey, I want to hang out with a few of my friends, have y'all meet and connect." I'm like, "That would be awesome." So I go (just another day in LA in my mind), and I meet this guy.
He was cool from the get-go. He had this sick beard. He had this sweet Australian accent, a cool outfit. I was like, "This guy is cool." I remember we did a lot of stuff that day. We went out to eat. We went to church. I think we hit up an amusement park. I can't remember all we did, but we were bros by the end of the day, that's for sure. So I did what bros do. I went and hit him up on IG after. His name was Nathan, so I typed in "Nathan," and I ended up finding him through the mutual friend so we could follow for follow, "like" for "like," all that stuff.
My eyes when I saw what I saw in the bio of Nathan's Instagram… It said, "Kol Mikaelson from The Vampire Diaries." I was like, "No way. This is the wrong guy." I started doing some research. I had just spent the whole day with one of the main characters from The Vampire Diaries. I was like, "What in the…?" He had millions of followers. I was like, "I have watched all six seasons twice. How did I miss this? What's going on?"
What I realized was I was not as much of a fan as I thought I was. I was low-key a fake fan, but actually, the real problem was I knew Kol Mikaelson with the fangs, biting into people all the time, but I didn't know Nathan. This whole time, someone I claimed to be a fan of… I didn't even know he was standing right in front of me.
I start there because tonight we're talking about why you can't see Jesus clearly in your life. I think, a lot of times, because we are simply mere fans of Jesus or just see him from a narrative point of view or just see him as another Bible character or a good thing and not the thing… So many times in life he is right in front of us, and we miss it.
So many people get to the end of their lives, when everything comes to a head. They chased all that the world has to offer, and they missed it. Jesus was right there every Tuesday night, making himself available, and they didn't even know it. Why? Because they were a fan of Jesus, but they didn't know the real Jesus.
So, tonight, I want to make sure we know that we know that we know who Jesus really is, because how you view Jesus is the most important thing about you. Where you go when you fail and make mistakes has a lot to do with your view of Jesus. Your idea of success has a lot to do with your view of Jesus.
A.W. Tozer in his book The Knowledge of the Holy… If you have not read it, it's a little heady. I'm not a big intellectual guy, but I loved this book. I highly recommend it. Write it down. Get it. The first thing he says is what a man (or woman) thinks of when he hears the word God may be the most important thing about him. It's true. I don't want us to spend every Tuesday night and every day with Jesus offering himself, fully available right in front of us, and get to the end of our lives and miss it.
We're going to look at a point of view tonight from a blind man named Bartimaeus. You might be thinking, like me, "So, wait. We're going to talk about a point of view from a blind man. That makes zero sense. What did he see? Nothing. He had no view." That's true, but it's also not, because what we're going to see in this story is this blind man saw Jesus more clearly than any other person around. We're going to look at an example of what it means to see Jesus clearly. So, if you have your Bible, open up with me to Mark 10:46.
"And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' And Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.'
And they called the blind man, saying to him, 'Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.' And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And the blind man said to him, 'Rabbi, let me recover my sight.' And Jesus said to him, 'Go your way; your faith has made you well.' And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way."
We're going to look at this story of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, and we're going to learn things that keep us from seeing Jesus clearly.
"As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, 'Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.' And he cried out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'" So, Bartimaeus is on the side of the road. He can't see anything, but he hears what sounds like a stampede of elephants going by. Everyone is cheering.
He's like, "Yo! What's going on?" and they're like, "It's Jesus of Nazareth." But then he doesn't say, "Jesus of Nazareth!" He says, "Jesus, Son of David!" Right there we should see a contrast in two different descriptions of Jesus. One (the crowd) saw him as another man, but Bartimaeus saw him as the Son of David. We'll get to Bartimaeus in a second. I want to focus in on what it means by the crowd calling him Jesus of Nazareth.
Today, if I were to introduce myself, I'd say, "Hey, I'm JD." The first thing we do as humans in meeting someone… We want to get to know, like, "Who is this person? What can I find out about them?" We start to attach things to them. We do that by asking two questions right off the bat. First, "What do you do?" and second, "Where are you from?" This is the equivalent of that in this culture in the Bible.
People would say their name and then where they were from. That way, it gave an association culturally and socially and all of these different things. It attached something to their name. So, when they say, "Jesus from Nazareth," they are not saying something good or something worthy to be praised. They're actually doing the opposite. How do I know that? When Jesus first enters into his ministry in John, chapter 1, one of the first things he starts to do is call his disciples. They were young adults like you and me.
You have to know, at this time, Jews are underneath Roman captivity, and they are awaiting the day of the promised Messiah, the King of the Jews, who is going to come and conquer Rome, and then the Jews are going to rise to the top because of their King, the Messiah. That's what they're waiting on. They think he's going to be political, just high value. They think he's going to look like a king, and all of the things that come with a king, and all the royalty. That's what he's going to look like, and he's going to come from that kind of descent.
So, they said, "Okay, we're looking for Jesus," but then whenever he calls Philip… He tells Philip to come and follow him and go and get Nathanael. I want you to look at this interaction in John, chapter 1. So, Philip meets Jesus. Then Jesus sends him to go get Nathanael, and Philip says this. "Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.' Nathanael said to him, 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'"
That should show you what people thought when they heard "Jesus of Nazareth." This guy is a nobody. I think about me. It takes me a long time when people ask where I'm from, because of where I'm from, to say where I'm actually from. If people are not from Texas, I'll say, "Oh, I'm from Texas," and they always want to know… People are so nosy these days. They're like, "What part of Texas?" and I'm like, "Dallas." I'm two hours east of Dallas.
They're like, "Okay. What part of Dallas?" I'm like, Okay. I don't want to lie. "I'm actually in East Texas, a small town." "Oh, which one? I have some relatives in East Texas." I'm like, "Here we go." So I say, "Longview, Texas." The thing is they're like, "Oh, nice. Do you know so-and-so?" and then I have to say again, "Okay. I'm not actually from Longview." So, it's like Texas, Dallas, Longview, and then I'm like, "And I'm right here." It's called Union Grove.
When you drive into my hometown, it says, "Union Grove: Population 461." We have one yellow blinking light. We have one gas station. We do not have a grocery store. I would ride my four-wheeler or my horse to the gas station to get milk. I'm not kidding. People would ride horses to school. At my high school graduation, 42 of us were present. That's, like, a tenth of the population of Union Grove. Numerous of them were with child. I was one of two or three to go to college.
You just don't get out of Union Grove. That's nothing on Union Grove. That's just the reality of where I'm from. So, today, when people see me covered in tattoos and in Dallas and all of these different things, they're like, "Where are you from?" and I'm like, "It doesn't matter." The reason why is I don't want people to know my upbringing looks like you could kill a hog on a Tuesday morning and eat it for dinner on Tuesday night. That's how I was raised. I mean, talk about farm to table. I'm not kidding.
So, it takes me all this time, because I know the moment people learn where I'm from, they will associate something to it. The problem is I'm JD. We're talking about Jesus Christ. When you simply see him as another man, you've found yourself not seeing him clearly. If you see him just simply as Jesus of Nazareth… I don't know what that looks like in 2022 for you.
Some of you see him as "Jesus Calling, my little devo partner I give five minutes a morning to; Jesus, the guy who hangs on my Catholic grandma's porch with blond hair and blue eyes, petting a lamb; Jesus, the one I hear about when I come in for Christmas and Easter; Jesus, the one I grew up in a childhood Christian home hearing about. Yeah, Jesus…another guy, a good guy, the man upstairs, a good thing." That's what you think.
I don't know what Jesus looks like for you, but if he's just simply "Jesus of Nazareth; Jesus, the man who allows bad things to happen in the world; Jesus, the one who must have allowed my parents' divorce; Jesus, the one who wasn't there like people said he would be; Jesus, the one the church claimed to love, but they hurt me so deeply…" If you've let experiences or anything other than God's Word dictate who Jesus is to you, you don't have a clear view of Jesus.
We see here that these people simply calling him "Jesus from Nazareth" shows that they don't really know who he is. They see him as just another man, a good thing; therefore, they are okay with Jesus just simply walking by. But who had a different response? The blind man, the man who couldn't see but simply heard the name Jesus. We see such an act of faith that he clearly saw with his spiritual eyes, with his heart, and he understood, and he professed by faith, "Oh! Jesus is here? I'm shooting my shot. Jesus, Son of David!"
Y'all have to understand that at this time, this man was taking a huge chance by acknowledging Jesus as the Son of David. He's using what's called messianic language, which means he is professing to the Jews that Jesus is the coming Messiah. At the time, this is a really twisted and upside-down way of thinking, because, "Nothing good comes from Nazareth. How could Jesus from Nazareth be Jesus, the Son of David and Abraham and the lineage of the fathers of our people? There's no way this is him."
But this man, although he didn't see, believed, and he said, "Jesus, Son of David." We see although he couldn't see, he saw Jesus and understood who he was more than anyone else around. By this proclamation of acknowledging Jesus as the Son of David, what he is saying is "He's not even just the Son of David. This is the Son of God. The God is standing before me, so my response is to cry out for mercy, to cry out for his name."
He knew. He had a proper response because he had a right, clear view of who Jesus was. His actions… He's saying to these people around, "No, no, no. This isn't just Jesus from Nazareth. This is Jesus from the beginning." Colossians 1:17 tells us, when it's talking about who Jesus is, as he is fully God and fully man… It says he was from and before the beginning, and by him (Jesus) and through him (Jesus) all things hold together.
Before there was a beginning of time, Jesus was. So, to diminish his name by simply calling him "Jesus of Nazareth" or "Jesus, the good guy" or "Jesus, just another man, another religion" is to diminish who he is, because right before us…you guys need to understand…this is Jesus, Son of the living God. Therefore, our response should be to shout, to beg him for mercy. But this was the only man, the blind man, who had a proper view of Jesus.
Sometimes I come into this place, and I see our response. We're singing. We're supposed to be singing to Jesus, the Son of the living God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I look around, and I see people who are clearly not seeing him correctly. I want you to imagine. When we worship, if we sing… What if he was standing in the flesh right here and you could truly see him? How would you worship differently? Yeah, you would clap. You'd lift your hands. You'd bow. You would barely be able to stop thanking him.
You don't have to physically see him to respond to him spiritually. You can respond to him properly today. This man understood, "I don't have to see him to know how to respond. If this is Jesus, the Son of the living God, please, Lord, have mercy on me." For some of you, when you look at your life and wonder, "Where is God? Where is Jesus? Why can't I see him clearly working in my life?" it's because you've made him just another good man and not Lord.
To see Jesus as Lord is to equate him to both power and authority, to see him as all-powerful and ultimate authority. I think a lot of us want Jesus, the friend of sinners, but we don't want Jesus, the Lord of all people. We want his friendship but not his lordship. We want to be on mission, but we still want to remain master. You just can't. If you want a clear view of Jesus, you have to understand who he is. He is not simply Jesus from Nazareth; he is Jesus, the Son of God.
Because this man understood this, his response was to shout. Thankfully, he saw him right. Let's look at verse 47. "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'"
I don't know what rebuking and silencing looks like in your life today. I don't know what's prohibiting you from acknowledging and declaring Jesus as the Son of God today. It might be your dad's approval. It might be your friends and what they think of you. It might be your followers on Instagram. If you were to retweet that tweet about Roe v. Wade and about pro-life, you don't know how people will respond at work.
It might be that if you say, "Hey, I'm going to use pronouns the way God intended. I'm going to state what I believe about gay marriage. I'm going to be what God calls me to be no matter the cost…" That kind of faith moves mountains for you to see God work in your life, but if you are living for man's approval over God's approval, you're going to continue to strive and look for man to validate and satisfy what only God can.
I want to say something to you. I think one of the biggest struggles of young adults today is loneliness, so we make an idol of relationships, and we make an idol of people at the expense of our relationship with God. I know it's scary. I know some of you have friend groups you've had since you were in high school, and you think, "Man, if I radically change, I'm going to have no one. I'm going to be alone. I'm not going to have any friends at work. I'm going to be the weird guy. They're going to talk about me, gossip about me."
They're going to say things like, "Oh, I bet you're not going to drink tonight because you're all Christian now." "Oh, look who's too good." Or whenever they take a drink or cuss or do something, they say, "Are you judging me?" Suddenly, these people who once claimed to be your closest friends are now against you because you are closer to God.
I want to say something very loud and clear that I had to learn the hard way. If your friends want you but not your God, then, first, they are not true friends, and second, your friends are probably your god. If you're okay with allowing them to say, "Hey, we want you but not your God," and you keep them as friends, that tells me that your friends have sat on the throne of God. You say, "They are more important. They can validate me. They can bring me significance in ways that God can't."
Think about this. If they were true friends… True friends celebrate. When your life gets better and is marked by peace and joy and love and all of the things that come from relationship with God… If they were true friends, they should celebrate all of you, but if they start to say, "Hey, you're judgy now. You're different. You're a radical Jesus freak. What happened to you? You're boring…" Those are fake friends. Those aren't real friends.
If you allow that to continue, and you change, and you shrink your God to grow your followers or friend groups, that is why you cannot see God clearly in your life: because he's not God of your life; people are. Galatians 1:10 says, "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Life is not about bowing down to the opinion and approval of others. Guys, I am the chief of this. Do you think it's easy to get up here as one of you, a 28-year-old guy, and tell you what God is teaching me and try to teach his Word? This is a weight, and it's terrifying. I have to constantly filter what it looks like to not bow down to the approval of others.
When the Enemy is really trying to work in my life, I'll experience no movement toward God because I'm afraid of what others might think. It looks like this. "Man, I'm going to write this really spiritual post God is putting on my heart to share with Instagram, but what if people think I'm trying to be some celebrity pastor or something? Maybe I won't share this."
Or "Man, people really like when David speaks. I like when David speaks. David is the director of this thing. I'm kind of the understudy. What if when the lights come up those people who brought their friends… I'm that guy that they're elbowing, like, 'I'm so sorry, dude. The Vampire Diaries guy… He ain't it, but come next week. They don't give him two weeks in a row. Trust me. Let's just make it through.'" I think these thoughts.
Or I even have God giving me God-sized dreams, and all of these things… "What will so-and-so think? What will so-and-so think?" Guys, I'm just telling you, it's a load of crap. I am missing out on God's best for…what? Some man's opinion? So many of us are sitting back, and we're sitting on our hands, and we aren't seeing God work in our lives because we are giving people too loud of a voice.
You have to realize if you're surrounded by nothing but miserable people… Miserable people want to see you miserable so they can feel less miserable about themselves. Drake said it best. People want to see you do better until you're doing better than them. It's true. You have to wake up and realize, "Am I letting man's opinions trump obedience to God?"
Imagine if this man had let man's opinions trump his obedience. They said, "Hey, shut up. Shut up! Sit down! Be quiet! He doesn't care about you, you blind beggar. Sit down!" Imagine all he would have missed out on. Literally, a miraculous work in his life took place because he went against man's opinions and responded properly because he had a clear view of who Jesus was. He understood by faith, "I'm going despite what anyone says," and he shouted all the louder.
Some of you… Your life looks like when people have tried to silence you, you've let them. When they told you, "Why did you post that?" you took it down. God is calling you into ministry, and you're worried what other people will think. "That doesn't make sense. Why did you go to college for this if you're just going to go do ministry? Do you know what they pay in ministry? You're crazy."
Or God is calling you to get out of that relationship, but then you wonder, "Am I going to be alone?" You're letting the opinion of other people trump obedience to God, and you wonder why you can't see him. This man did not listen. Instead, he cried out all the more, and it changed everything. We can't let other people sit on the throne of God.
I was thinking about back in my clubbing days. You know there's a science behind why it's so dark in the club. Right? Y'all are like, "Yeah, because I ain't hitting it in the light." It's true. Actually, I low-key would, but people are like, "I wouldn't be acting the way I would if the lights weren't down. We've got to get the lights down in this place." So we act the fool. People are taking shots. People are taking drinks. People are bumping and grinding and twerking and all of these different things.
Then the lights always inevitably come on, and we're like cockroaches. Scram! We get out of there. Why? Because suddenly that 10 is looking like a 5. Suddenly, I was a 10 and I'm looking like a 5. We have bags under our eyes, sweaty everywhere, girls' hair sticking down, and we're like, "Ooh, Lord, get me to the car." I want you to understand something. Nothing changed about you. The only thing changed is you were seen. The lights came on.
Some of you tonight need to switch on the light in your mind and wake up and realize, "I'm surrounded by miserable people doing the same thing every single week, week in and week out, all desperate, looking for affirmation. The job wasn't enough, so they're getting drunk. They're getting confident because they're drunk, and they're looking for someone who will accept them enough to hook up with them. They regret it the next morning and maybe go to church if they're not too tired. Rinse and repeat."
It's a miserable life. You need to turn the lights on, and you need to put God back on the throne and choose obedience, not opinion. That's how you'll see him clearly. The last thing we see here… Verse 49, the most powerful part of this whole thing:
"And Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' And they called the blind man, saying to him, 'Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.' And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And the blind man said to him, 'Rabbi, let me recover my sight.' And Jesus said to him, 'Go your way; your faith has made you well.' And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way."
Can you understand the powerful moment we just read about? Can you imagine for this man? A blind beggar all of his life, and he has no hope, and then suddenly, the man he had heard about, who performed miracles, who changed lives, who let the lame walk and the blind see, is walking by. He said, "I can't see, but I'm choosing in faith to open up the eyes of my heart and believe that this is the Messiah. If so, have mercy on me."
In faith, though everyone else was looking a different way, he declared, "Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!" Something in him must have wondered, "What's going to happen? I can't see." I know some of you right now are wondering with your relationship with God. "I can't see what's going to happen." If you will just choose faith in going all in and giving all of yourself to Jesus, you will get the same response, I promise you. In the moment, though he couldn't see, he could hear. And what did he hear? "Take heart."
The only thing some of you need to hear tonight is this point. It's the most simple yet the most profound for your life if you would just believe it. God is telling you tonight through me… I am the crowd to you telling you right now that Jesus sees you and is saying to you, specifically, "Take heart. I see it. I see the guilt, the shame, the addiction, the secret sin no one knows about. I see the pain, the brokenness, that moment where you think I was the reason your dad died of cancer. I see it."
I'm telling you right now: though your heart is weary, take heart. Get up. He's calling you. The most courageous thing some of you can do tonight is to get up and understand "He's calling me." Not part of you. He's not saying, "I want this part of you, but let's keep the abortion tucked away. That's too much. I want this part of you, but that secret sin of masturbation… Don't bring that over here. That's disgusting. I'm calling you, but, hey, let's just keep this between…" No.
He is looking for people who will abandon themselves and unapologetically say, "Jesus, Jesus, Son of God, I need you. All of me needs all of you. Call me John Legend. I'm in. I want you." His response was "Call him." He stopped in his tracks. Though he couldn't see Jesus, Jesus clearly saw him, and he said, "Call him." You might think, "I can't see Jesus. Where is he?" I'm telling you, he sees you more clearly than he ever has before. He sees why you're here right now. He sees what you're longing and looking for, and he's saying, "Come on. I want all of it. I want all of you."
This really hits home for me, because this is my story. I grew up a pastor's kid in that small town of Union Grove, Texas, and I was supposed to know all the things. If anyone had the clearest of view, the front row seat to see Jesus clearly, it was me, but something kept me from seeing him. After sexual abuse was done to me and many other things I was introduced to sexually, I began a secret path filled with sexual confusion.
I thought, because I grew up in this church, and I saw all of these people who looked perfect… I thought God called JD, but just the parts that made sense. "JD, leave the confusion behind. Let's keep that under wraps. Christians aren't confused. Christians are perfect. Christians are put together." That's what I thought. God just wanted part of me; therefore, I just gave part of me to God and only received part of him, resulting in me never clearly seeing him. That's some of you tonight.
The Enemy shamed me and lied to me for a long time. It wasn't until I got to the end of myself and saw people stand up for the first time and declare their sin and boast in their weakness and say, "Hey, I was a slave to sexual sin. I was a slave to pornography. I was a slave to alcohol and hookups and all of these different things, but Jesus… I remember that Jesus stepped out of heaven, lived a perfect life, and while I was a sinner, died for me, buried my sin in the grave, and rose again and claimed victory, so now I can have victory, and I can stand here and simply give him all of me, because he has given all of himself to me." This changed everything.
Once I heard that, it was groundbreaking. It was revolutionary for me. "You mean God wants all of me?" So I came, and like this man… Jesus said, "What do you want? What do you want for me to heal? I'll heal it. What do you want to bring to me? If you surrender it, I've got you." I wanted something that I think every single one of us wants deep down. I said, "God, I just want to be fully known and fully loved, because I'm exhausted. I can't keep up this perfect preacher's kid act anymore. I'm exhausted. I want to be known and loved, and it starts with you, God. Do you truly, fully want all of me?" He said, "Yes."
Tonight, some of you need to believe, like this man… He left his cloak. The moment he heard Jesus was calling him, he left his cloak. He didn't need it anymore. He left it behind. Some of you need to leave your old past and your old life behind. He sprang up, and he ran to Jesus, and his sight was restored immediately. It says he went on to follow Jesus on the way.
A lot of people believe the reason they put that his name was Bartimaeus is he actually became a disciple of Jesus, that he got to walk intimately with him and continue to see him work in the lives of others. They believe he was one of the early church planters when the church took off in the book of Acts. It's because he went all in with Jesus; therefore, he saw him more clearly than ever before. He didn't need his physical sight to be restored because he saw everything he needed to see spiritually. You can too.
I started off this message talking about how I think often, "If I had known I was with Kol Mikaelson from The Vampire Diaries… Was I an idiot that day? What did I talk about?" I'm retracing everything I said. I'm rethinking everything I asked. I'm making sure, like, "Did I look a fool? Oh, if only I knew, I would have spent time with him differently. I would have asked more pointed questions. I would have learned more and really soaked up the time." But I missed it, because I didn't see Nathan. I didn't truly understand who he was.
The reason it's so important that you clearly see Jesus is because the Bible tells us that one day, though right now we are still not able to physically see him… We have the opportunity now to spiritually see him, but though we cannot physically see him, one day we are going to see him face-to-face. Here's my prayer for the young adults of today. Here's my prayer for myself. Here's why I don't want us to miss it.
My fear is that one day, be it through death or through the return of Jesus, we are going to stand before him, we are going to behold all that he is, and for the first time we are going to most clearly see him, and we're going to ask the question, "Why didn't I see it sooner? How did I miss it on earth? He was right there. Every Tuesday, I heard of his goodness. Every Sunday, churches were gathering.
If only I knew that this was who he was, if only I had chosen to spiritually see him in my time on earth, everything would have been different. I would have spent my time differently. I would have had different kinds of relationships. I would have trusted his design for my sexual life. I would have done all of these things differently if only I had seen him, because this is the best thing I've ever seen."
The Bible tells us that one day, whether you want to or not, whether you believe in him or you don't, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. My prayer is that you all choose today to not just see him as another man, but to clearly see him as Lord, and it will cause you to kneel today.
My prayer is that you won't let opinions of man keep you from obedience to God today. My prayer is that you don't spend your life sheepishly approaching Jesus, but you say, "Here's all of me," and you receive all of him today, and when we come to that day when we see him clearly and every knee bows, it's just another day for you, because you started bowing today.
That's my hope for us: that the people at The Porch are going, "Oh, I've been doing this. This is nothing new. This is who we are. Though I physically now behold him, I spiritually saw him then." Tonight, Jesus is calling you. I don't know where you're at or what your view is for him. I don't know how clear or unclear it is, but he's saying to every single one of us tonight, "Take heart. Get up. I'm calling you." Let's pray.
Jesus, I thank you that you called me in my sin, in my shame, and in my brokenness. I thank you that I heard the call to take heart and to see you as Lord. I pray that if there's someone here tonight who can't see you at work, they would hear you right now call them by name, and they would get up, leave the cloak of their old life behind, leave their spiritual blindness behind, and that you would restore their sight tonight spiritually.
I don't know what has distorted their view, but tonight, would we experience restoration. Anything that's distorted, would you restore it according to the power of your name and the work of your Spirit. Would we respond to you properly because we see you clearly. It's in your name I pray, amen.