Nothing Ordinary About Yeshua
Nothing Ordinary About Yeshua
by Lonnie Lane
A friend and I were having an e-chat about how we each “see” God. I asked her how she imagined or pictured the Lord. I’m a pretty visual person. I have to kind of picture things to process them. God is in the visuals for me, though not exclusively of course. I do see God all around me. His fingerprints are everywhere. He’s in the harmonies of colors and the way shapes fit together. He’s in the ripples and the reflections in a pond or a puddle as they shine back the heavens above them. He’s in the flight of the herons that frequent our pond lifting undulating wings majestically while flying down stream. He’s in the pebbles on the path, each little one — How did it get there? What made it that shape? Did God design each one specifically to His liking? I see the Hand of the Sculptor in them. I see the twist of several kinds of vines wrapping themselves around each other, reminding me of the way our lives weave in and out of each others’, and the reaching out of the tendrils to grasp hold of something other than itself for support. My eyes go to the grey-green-brown varied textures in each tree bark reminding me of the varied textures of experiences in our lives that serve to enable us to stand upright and strong as we grow in the Lord. And that’s just what happens three times a day while walking my dog, Lizzie, in whose little face, when she looks into my eyes with her faithful devotion and unconditional love, is as the affection of God to me. What wonder. Part of my gratefulness to God continually is for eyes that see.
But I also picture Yeshua. All the time. In my imagination. The stories about Him in the Bible are real life experiences to me. I go with Him in them. I figure God gave us imagination and then tells us stories for the very purpose of having us picture what took place in them and who was involved so we can project ourselves into the stories and respond to them, even internalize them. Not all, but many. Yesterday I read, “Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15). “Lord,” I said, “Take me with You.” I want to go and be with Him, I want to see Him when He’s alone with His Father, when no one else is around, to know Him that way too.
I can’t tell you I was granted a visual of this, at least not yet, but I did ask Him, “Lord, were you transfigured when you were alone with your Father so that you were in touch with Your glory? Did that only happen once or did it happen often? Or were you confined to Your humanity, humble before Abba, even stretched out and face down?” As I ask these questions, I can “see” Him, humbling Himself before Abba, prostrate before Him. Even envisioning this again now humbles me. Makes me be still inside as if I’m in the presence of holiness. Then, as much as I am able, I try to picture Him glorified: “And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2). But I realize I’m incapable of seeing Him this way, with His Face as bright as the sun which we cannot endure looking at directly! His whole being emanating pure light! I cannot see this as it must have been, but I can surely feel the Holy Spirit within me responding to my even wanting to, as silent worship wells up within me.
How do you picture the Lord? We can’t see Abba or the Holy Spirit as we don’t “see” in the spirit world. At least, most of us don’t. Some have been given the privilege. Scripture gives us numerous word pictures of what we generally cannot really see. It would seem God would give us those pictures to show us what exists beyond our ability to look at them directly. He also tells us story after story to get us to employ our imaginations to be able to ‘see’ Him in the spirit realm, or to “see” what took place long before we were born. He tells us so we’ll believe. The following verses read like an eye witness account, don’t they? Listen: “I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:13-15). Don’t you believe this to be truth? John was seeing Yeshua as the Risen Lord of heaven and earth, of course. Eyes like a flame of fire. What a terrifying vision that must have been. Can you at last try to picture that? What do eyes like a flame of fire look like? Just the color of fire, or did they flicker like a flame alive? More like being ablaze, I imagine. Blazing holiness! My Lord!!
John had been close enough with Him to rest against Yeshua’s chest in intimate friendship as they reclined as was typical as they ate the last Passover supper together, and he had been there when Yeshua was transfigured along with his brother James and with Peter. (Notice Yeshua didn’t take all 12 of the disciples up the mountain with Him, only those closest to Him. Each of us has equal access to Him, but not all seek to be as close to Him as we can be. Just a thought to consider.)
Though John had been there on the mountain during Yeshua’s transfiguration and had seen Him that way, he tells us what he experienced being near Him in the Revelation: “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.” Can you picture this? Take a few moments and meditate on what took place. Who could stand in the presence of absolute power and glory? None, unless the Lord extends His grace: “He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.…’” (Rev 1:17). The One in whom all things consist and hold together, the one who is the Beginning and the End and in Whom everything in between has its being, this One also says — (can you hear the tenderness in His voice?) — “Don’t be afraid.” All that power. All that caring. Together as one in our God — in Yeshua.
John also wrote of seeing the Father by the Spirit upon His throne in the highest heaven: “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance…. Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God” (Rev. 4:2-5).
You have to try and picture this, don’t you? Lord, grant us by Your Spirit, insight to envision You as You truly are. As the old song says, “We want to see Jesus.” This phrase actually came from John 12:20,21 in which several Greeks came to Phillip saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” It was when these Gentiles came seeking Yeshua (Play on words: Seeking = see (the)king), that Yeshua knew it was approaching the time for Him as The Seed of Life to die, so that the Kingdom could expand outside of Israeli soil. In wanting to see Yeshua what the Greeks really yet unknowingly wanted was to see the God of Israel Whom Yeshua was manifesting as He did all the Father asked of Him.
Seeing Yeshua is absolutely critical to knowing the Father because the only way to the Father is through the
“Seeing Yeshua is absolutely critical to knowing the Father because the only way to the Father is through the Son.”
Son. “Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). If we do not focus so as to “see” Yeshua and get to really know Him, our understanding of God the Father will be greatly limited as will our faith.
My friend’s envisioning of Yeshua is fairly limited. Here’s what she wrote: “How do I imagine God? He’s invisible. Behind the scenes, yet creating the scenes, controlling, but then not…whispering, soft, yet powerful, not human…..yet feeling our feelings, caring about the little things, loving. My relationship is through the Holy Spirit. I used to picture Him living inside my heart. Sometimes I picture God the father sitting on the throne with lots of lightening and stuff. Jesus next to him looking ordinary, Jewish, age 33, and the Holy Spirit invisible. But it feels like they are here with me. It’s Him and he’s invisible. What’s tangible isn’t what he looks like but what he effects. Like the wind…back to Holy Spirit again…. In heaven we’ll see Him but here I guess I don’t want to make anything up.” It was her words that prompted me to write this article as I’ve been thinking about what she said for a while. She’s undoubtedly not the only person thinking this way.
Sometimes we’re so afraid we might believe something wrong about God that we wind up believing something less about God than He wants for us. Isn’t it a lack of faith when our fear of doing something wrong is greater than our trust in God and in His loving care that He will lead us to do right? Is this one of those places where we fear our flesh or the devil could be more potentially influential in our lives than God? What does that say about how big our God is? What does it tell us about our understanding of God? Perhaps the devil has used that fear as a tool to paralyze us spiritually and keep us from plumbing the depths of Who God is to us. Remember that King David wrote (sang), “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). God is greatly invested in helping you walk in paths of righteousness!
It is possible that my friend’s Scripture reading doesn’t include the revelations of Yeshua from the Old Testament prophets, major and minor. A quick glance at a sampling few verses, like Isaiah 9:6; Daniel, 7:13, 14; 10:5-12 will provide but just a few pictures of a powerful Messiah which can be matched with those in the Book of the Revelation, which (not) incidentally is really entitled “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” not the revelation of John. It’s not telling us about John, other than what he saw or how he was impacted. It’s about Yeshua.
The goal of the Holy Spirit in giving John The Revelation is to show us the Lordship of Yeshua. The Father gave all power, authority and judgment over to His Son when He “raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church”(Eph 1:20-22). That’s not ordinary! He’s not just sitting next to His Father being ordinary.
There is nothing “ordinary” about Yeshua. Ever. I’m not sure this is the reason for my friend’s impotent
“…I suspect that when people short change their reading of the first 2/3 of the Bible they miss being able to “see” much about Yeshua.”
image of the Lord Yeshua, but I suspect that when people short change their reading of the first 2/3 of the Bible they miss being able to “see” much about Yeshua. Every time a physical manifestation of God happens during the couple of thousands of years the Old Testament covers, it’s Yeshua because we can’t see God who is Spirit. It’s Adonai (Lord) Yeshua every time “the angel of the Lord” appears and speaks in the first person, promising what only God could possibly do (like Sarah having a baby next year at age 90 — My Mom is 91. I assure you, Sarah’s pregnancy had to be a no-kidding miracle.) No one before Yeshua came as a person would have had a category for a pre-incarnate epiphany of God, so He was called, the Angel of the Lord and though His glory was often seen, even profoundly, it was always greatly limited, in order that we not be destroyed in the power of His presence.
Not so when Moses encountered the Lord on Mt. Sinai, God enabling Moses to endure His presence, having been called up on the mountain by God Himself. This appears to have been a much greater manifestation of His presence, judging from the glory on Moses’ face when he came back down and that he could remain in God’s presence where all needs would be met and Moses presumably had no need for food or water for forty days. Moses was allowed to see, not His Face, but His back. It had to be Yeshua whose hand covered him and whose back Moses saw on Mount Sinai when He asked to see His glory. Would the Father who is Spirit have hands? I wonder. If it was Yeshua and if He was slain before the foundation of the world (being outside of time), could Moses possibly have seen the whip lashes on His back, even then, even prophetically? Here’s what happened:
“Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen” (Exod. 33:18-23).
This was anything but ordinary! God talked to Moses about His glory being linked with grace and compassion, and showed Him His back. From our perspective today, what could this possibly mean but that Moses was allowed a prophetic picture of the Messiah to come? I can’t tell you for sure if Moses was given insight into God Himself becoming the suffering Servant-Messiah, but we do know Moses saw God’s back on that mountain. Why would God show this to Moses if He wasn’t showing Him His way to ultimate salvation?
Every time God speaks about salvation in the Old Testament, it is Yeshua’s name that is declared for His name means Yahweh is salvation. Moses told the people of Israel, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you” (Exodus 14:13, my emphases). When we come to the knowledge and faith that Yeshua is Lord and Messiah, we see that He is everywhere in the Old Testament. We can then read the verse above, for example, as an exhortation to stand by and see Yeshua who is our salvation, watching for what He will accomplish on our behalf. Being familiar with His ways altogether will help having faith to wait for His salvation to be accomplished. As they say, “Seeing is believing.” Christians have countered that by saying that “Believing is seeing.” I’m saying that in order to believe you have to know what you’re believing, which, at least for me, means being able to “see” in the spirit, to imagine what it is I’m believing for. I’m seeing it before it happens and believing for it to manifest in the natural. Do you have a vision for something you’re believing God for? If not, maybe you need to ask Him for vision to see your part in the Kingdom work being done in our lifetime.
You may want to ponder some of the following questions or some of your own to help get to know Yeshua more deeply, and to “enter into” what God has seen fit to present us with in His Word.
How do you see Him walking through the crowd? Can you see yourself being near to Him? What does it feel like to picture being near to Him? Can you reach out and touch Him. Does He reach out and touch you? Is He tall and confident looking? Or of average height but the embodiment of dignity and authority laced with true humility? How does He look when He’s teaching? More formal like a pastor behind a pulpit, though there may be no pulpit? Or out in a field, walking among the people as He talks, touching this one, smiling at that one, pulling another up to use them as an example and hugging them after He does? As He goes by do you think, “Oh here’s the Man who heals the lepers and makes blind eyes see.” He changes lives. Do you have faith He will change yours? Is He a real Man to you who looks and smells and sweats like any other man in the heat of the Middle East? Do you see Him somber as the church has portrayed Him for so long? Or laughing easily, with delight in His eyes more often than not? Joy. Do you see Him joyful? Joy is the atmosphere of heaven, and He did reveal the motive of His teachings as being the impartation of His Joy, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11). If we see Him as joyful, that will flow right into our own lives and we will see our own lives as being tinged with glory and much joy.
Look at His carpenters Hands, hard working Hands which now repair broken bodies. Do you picture Him helping with repairs after the paralyzed man was let down through the roof which now had a large hole in it and loving doing it? How real a Man is He to you who does miracles, yes, but who is still a real human male with a particular personality? Do you see pain in His eyes when He encounters someone suffering? Did He bend down to look the leper in the face when he touched him? Do you see a twinkle of delight in His own eyes when someone sees for the first time, or walks again for the first time in years? Do you see Him hugging people He’s healed or just talked with, or is He a bit aloof in your eyes, a little too holy to relate directly? Is there, perhaps, a holdover from what you were taught about Him as a child that needs to be re-envisioned?
For instance, would He look you straight in the eye or be so surrounded by so many others that you are just lost in the crowd and He doesn’t really make eye contact with you? I had a wonderful experience a while ago during a worship service. I was picturing being one of millions singing His praises, standing before Him in adoring worship. He was waaaay up front and I was in the crowd, but He turned and looked straight at me and with a very slight smile, He winked at me! It both surprised and delighted me enormously. He took note of wee little me on the umpteenth row and winked at me. I saw His eyes for just a moment on only me. He knew I was there and what was on my heart at that moment and He responded to me oh so personally. He will do the same for you. In fact, if you’re His, His eyes are on you too. The wink told me…. Well, I’ll let you ‘picture’ what it would mean to you. Perhaps you reading this is a wink from Him to you.
Aren’t we exhorted to keep “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2a). That would be about “seeing,” wouldn’t it? Our faith is in what we don’t yet see in the natural but what we envision in hope by the Spirit, including in our God-honoring imaginations. We all “see” things and we will all believe what we “see.” Why not be intentionally seeing and seeking the blessings God wants to give us, the provisions God has stored up for us, and the salvations He wants to bring among your loved ones? Why not see and believe Him for a great outpouring of His Spirit in your country? Why not? You will always envision something, godly or not. And you will have faith for what you’re envisioning. Just make sure you’re on God’s agenda and thinking Kingdom thoughts.
If you fear the devil will invalidate your testimony for the Lord if you pray or envision a wrong thing, then the devil has already won, because you’re not praying for nor envisioning by faith something that is far above and beyond your tiptoeing walk with Him now. He wants you to stomp on the devil’s territory. We do that by believing God. Faith! For faith we must see in our minds eye a picture of what we’re believing God for, and for which we are willing to step out for God. I suggest that the reason most people don’t bear witness for the Lord is because they don’t “see” themselves doing it. Change how you think, consciously change what you choose to picture and believe. Don’t just let the devil woo you into spiritual slumber that has no further vision other than what’s immediately pressing that has nothing to do with the expansion of the Kingdom of God.
Seeing Yeshua who said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) is a very convicting verse. How we see Yeshua will impact how we see the Father. It has to. He said so. That’s the reason Yeshua came, to show us the Father. So there’s a precept at work here. As we “see” the Son, so will our concept of the Father be. Our lives as Believers are to be lived “in Him.” He is the quintessential Spirit-filled Person whom we are to be like and into Whose image we are being conformed. Wouldn’t it seem like we should be well acquainted with Him and His ways? There is no higher priority in our entire lives than to know the Lord and “see” Him as “Lord of all… in Spirit and in truth.” (Acts 10:36; John 4:23). Amen.
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2009.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.