“He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.” John 1:10

John the Apostle’s symbol in theology is an eagle. Eagles have superior eyesight and perception. John exhibited such perception when, hearing John the Baptist’s words, “There is the Lamb of God,” he left the Baptist and became one of the first two to follow Jesus.

When seven disciples were on Lake Tiberias after a night of empty nets, it was John who, hearing Jesus ask whether they had caught any fish, saw and exclaimed, “it is the Lord!”

How was it that John and the other disciples could see that Jesus was the Messiah? Almost all of God’s chosen people in Palestine at the time were not able to perceive His divinity. What blocked their view?

Not long ago I was looking for a new brand of laundry detergent. I looked for the bright white bottle with the name in royal blue on it. When I told an employee the detergent name, she immediately said, “here it is,” and picked up the CLEAR bottle with the bright blue detergent visible behind the RED name on the label. I had looked so carefully and so intently! I really wanted to try this wonderful new product, but it didn’t look like what I had in mind, so I couldn’t see it.

Nineteenth century English theologian Charles John Ellicott said that humans, the highest creatures in the world, “the ones with the spiritual power for seeing the True Light, ought to have recognized Christ.” He said some of us are sense-bound. Some only believe what they can see, smell, taste or hear. They have lost their spiritual perception.

Jesus, the Creator Word, lived an ordinary life; not one of pomp, ceremony, or military power. Most of the people who could have been blessed, as only He could bless them, were looking for someone completely different, so his divinity was imperceptible to them.

So how do we come to see Jesus for who He is? By opening our spiritual eyes and saying yes to His way of love.

O, come let us see and adore him!

Judyth White and husband Joe have been members of First Baptist since June of 1974. They are members of the Covenant Sunday school class. They have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren, separated by the distance from northern Virginia to northern California.