I had never seen my wife in action quite like that. I knew she was an amazing teacher. I knew she was totally dedicated to helping those kids learn English as a second language. But what I didn’t grasp until I saw her in action in the classroom that day, was the skill she possessed to get their attention.
Sometimes Christians are a lot like those second graders. We’re all so busy doing our religious things in our different circles that we lose contact with the One who we think called us to do all those things. The “noise” of our work and the conversations gets louder and louder, until we’re no longer in tune with the Lord, and if He spoke, we would have a hard time hearing what He had to say. Sometimes, we just need to “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Do we need a “One, two, three, eyes on Me!” from Jesus? Would we hear Him? Would we recognize His voice? Those second graders knew who was speaking to them. Would we?
Recently, while reading, Jesus Manifesto, the Lord got my attention. It was not with the catchy words my wife used in her classroom, but God used this book to help me get my eyes back on Jesus. This book presents such a powerful portrait of Jesus. You can’t help but fall on your knees in worship and adoration of our most holy God. The book helped me see Him from a fresh new perspective, one that said to my soul, “One, two, three… eyes on Me!”
Authors Frank Voila and Leonard Sweet, present one of the most vivid portraits of Jesus I have ever read. Never have I read a better description of His eternal attributes and His incomparable glory. The text is powerful, insightful and inspiring.
For the preachers among us, this book will become a classic, an invaluable tool in our library as we search for more effective and innovative ways to make Christ real when we present Him to our congregations. However, the real value of the book is the authors’ treatment of what it means to really make Christ sovereign and supreme. For me, the key chapter is chapter eight. The central question is “How does one become like Christ?” The answer given in this chapter can be summarized this way:
“We can try as hard as we wish to be like Christ, but human effort will never touch the hem of that garment. It’s like trying to square a circle. It’s like paddling into the gale with one oar. It’s like building and operating a motel along a highway that never gets built. The glory of the Gospel is that we who are fallen, tarnished, and marred have been invited to live our lives in the exact same way Jesus lived His life: by an indwelling Lord.”
We do not become Christlike because of our theology or our understanding of who Jesus is. It is only through His indwelling presence in our lives that we have any hope of becoming “like Him.” Viola and Sweet put it this way, “What the Father was to Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ is to you. He’s your indwelling Lord.”
Our problem today is while we know a lot about Jesus, we know very little of His indwelling life. Our focus, our attention, and the spotlight of our lives and ministry must be on Jesus and His Gospel. If not, everything is in vain and worthless!
Jesus Manifesto is in a real sense of the word, a prophetic call to restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ in our lives, our churches, and our world.
Read this book and you’ll see Jesus as you’ve never seen Him before, and you may just hear Him say to you, “One, two, three… eyes on Me!”