Stop. Look. Gaze.


Just imagine: all his life he was blind. Yet the very first time he could see, he caught a glimpse of the glory of God. He saw Jesus who had just healed him.


No need to imagine any further. Mark has recounted this miracle (10:46-52) in interesting detail. A passerby could have discounted this as accidental or coincidental. But no, it was clearly intentional. Bartimaeus would be named among those blessed ones in John 1:14 “…and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” According to RC Sproul, this beholding of His glory is what turned the apostles around, who, in turn, turned the world upside down.


Possibly to compensate for his lack of sight, Bartimaeus learned to listen carefully and process correctly. The acclaimed Person leading the crowd was no mere man from Nazareth, as probably regarded by the general populace. Here was the “Son of David”. Scripture was being fulfilled. So, he called out for mercy and received abundant grace as well.


The fact that the crowd tried to hush him up and even yelled at him showed how far down the social ladder beggars were assigned. Both physically and financially dependent, Bartimaeus the beggar barely managed to eke out a living. But that made him only shout louder. For this was a choice moment and he would not be denied.


And when Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus’ request was simple and whole-hearted: “I want to see.” And he expected to see, because as Mark noted, Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up and came to Jesus. He disposed of the very symbol of his previous life. Having been healed, he pursued Jesus: no longer sitting by the wayside begging, but gladly following the Lord Jesus down the road.

In John 17:24, the Lord Jesus expressed His desire to the Father that His disciples would behold His glory. Who had that privilege and experience before?


Two patriarchs of old come to mind. They caught more than a glimpse of the manifestation of God’s glory. To say the least, it was overwhelming for Abraham, at that moment of call (Acts 7:2-5) and to Moses who asked to see God’s glory (Ex. 33:18).


The glory of God reveals His character, His essential being, “the infinite beauty and greatness of His manifold perfections” (John Piper). Moses saw the very goodness of God passing before him even while he was placed in the cleft of the rock.


Such a great experience awaits us now: not a case of “glimpse-and-go” but “see-and-stay”! We are to fix our gaze on Him. As the song goes: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.”


Each time we open the Word of God, in reading, studying, memorizing and meditating, we see the glory of Christ emblazoned there. Each time the Gospel is preached, shared, read or made known, His Name is glorified. Each time, we pause in prayer - individually or corporately - and turn solely to Him, we accredit glory to Him who is ever watching over us.


There’s more to come.

The ultimate promise for the fullness of your soul? Our Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It is to the glory of God that through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus and entirely by His mercy and grace, we can be saved and purified. We can behold the glory of God for all eternity.


Each time we open the Word of God, in reading, studying, memorizing and meditating, we see the glory of Christ emblazoned there. Each time the Gospel is preached, shared, read or made known, His Name is glorified. Each time, we pause in prayer - individually or corporately - and turn solely to Him, we accredit glory to Him who is ever watching over us.

He will appear in His full glory at His return. We will see God in His very essence – as He is (Latin: In se est) – our Lord Jesus in His glorified humanity. On that day, we will glorify Him with all that we are, never having to worry about falling short of His glory (Rom 3:23).


And gloriously, we become like Who we behold. (2 Cor 3:18).


Dr Andrew Goh is the honorary editor of Impact magazine.

 

VOL. 46 NO. 2 of IMPACT Magazine


SEEN THE GLORY?... The four places glory is found by Tan Soo Inn


WHOSE WEIGHT ARE YOU UNDER?... From glory to glory by Chris Chia


GOD GETS THE GLORY (I HOPE) by Glenn Myers


TO GLORY BE THE GLORY by Reuben Ng


FOR HIS PLEASURE AND HIS GLORY... If we know what that means

~ The IMPACT Panel Responds ~


SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN by Mark Tan


BIG ON SMALL by Richard Loh

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