BY Ginny Owens
“For my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:30).
As someone who can’t see, I’m fascinated by eyes. How they hone in on objects too far away to touch. Or lock on each other from across crowded rooms. Or, whether we want them to or not, display our hearts and express our thoughts
In the passages of Scripture that tell of Jesus’s birth, I am moved by the many pairs of eyes that gazed on Him, recognizing that they saw the unimaginable: God comes to Earth, the Savior of the world. There were the eyes of Joseph, who saw the growing belly of his fiancé, carrying a divinely-conceived child (Matthew 1:18–20). His eyes couldn’t help him see the truth, so an angel filled his vision in a dream to make clear that this child was indeed the salvation Israel had longingly sought (vv.20–23). Can you imagine his eyes beholding Jesus for the first time? As he obediently named his child Jesus (which carried the same meaning as Joshua, “God is salvation”), what wonder he must have felt at this thing God had done (v.25).
Then we have the eyes of the shepherds, likely going through the motions of another ordinary night watch until their vision was flooded with brightness and brilliant beings they had no category for. Telling them news they had to see for themselves: “Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). And so they went and laid eyes on the baby King in the manger who was to save the world! Their joy overflowed to everyone around them and in praise to God (vv.15–18,20).
Then there was dear old Simeon, to whom the sight of Jesus, his salvation, was enough to satisfy his heart and ready him for eternal rest (vv.25–35). And Anna, whose eyes could have been filled with loneliness or desperation due to her years of widowhood. Instead, they were filled with the hope of God. Laying eyes on her salvation caused her to praise God and share with everyone how He would redeem Jerusalem (vv.37–38).
What about our eyes? The birth of Jesus is a story most of us have probably heard a billion times, but have we laid eyes on this truth recently? Are we skeptical like Joseph because our eyes are overwhelmed by things of the world that bring concern and seem greater than God’s power? Or, are our eyes like the shepherds’, focused myopically on our daily grind, needing a lifting to the glory and wonder of the Light of the World? If so, let’s pray to have the eyes of Simeon and Anna, who joyfully gazed at their salvation, praising God and telling the world about Him. Let’s take time to gaze on Jesus today. Remember He is God, who became a servant of all, for God’s glory and our good (Philippians 2:5–11). He let Himself be a helpless babe so you and I could know His love and have His help and salvation eternally. Let’s marvel at the mystery again: Jesus, the God of the universe, became an embryo for us.