John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him. 

It’s amazing how such a small instrument like a telescope can show us something millions of miles away.   For the Moon and some planets, in fact, the view becomes so clear that you’re able to describe them in detail.

John the Baptist seemed to have had a spiritual kind of telescope.   From his mother’s womb, he recognized Jesus present within Mary.   As a prophet living in the desert, he kept his focus on his mission to testify to the coming Messiah and to call people to repentance.   Jesus was so impressed with John’s keen vision that he once said that “among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).

Now, before we go thinking that John was so holy we could never hope to become as clear as he was, we should remember that he had quite a bit of help:  the Holy Spirit.   John even confessed that he didn’t recognize Jesus at first;  it was only after the Spirit opened his eyes that he was able to say,  “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God” (John 1:34).

So what do you think it would be like if you had a spiritual telescope?   What kinds of things would you see?

You might notice one of your children being generous to one of his siblings.    That’s Jesus at work.   You might hear about a neighbor reaching out to another neighbor who has just lost her husband.   That’s Jesus at work.   Or you might sense a prompting in your own heart to offer to pray with a friend who is hurting.   That, too, is Jesus at work.

God is working everywhere.   Jesus is always “coming toward” us with his grace and his blessing, inviting us to share that grace with the people around us (John 1:29).   So ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes today so that you can see Jesus.   You might be surprised by what he shows you.   And don’t worry if you don’t see anything right away.   Simply asking the Spirit for this grace is itself a sign that Jesus is at work in you.

Word Among Us