Our Sunday morning service was taken by Lawrence Mitchell who preached from John 17 which he referred to as ‘The Heavenly Look’. Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven. It is good to look up! When life is difficult you may look to Psalms such as Psalm 34: ‘They looked to Him and were radiant’ (Psalm 34:5). Through the power of God and the spirit of God we are people who have been redeemed and can rejoice in Him.
The great prophet Isaiah said, ‘Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.’ (Isaiah 40:26). Jesus lifted His eyes and spoke of these words. Isaiah says look to the creator, He wants us to look up and see the wonderful things God has done.
In the New Testament the disciples looked up to the Lord. In the Acts of the Apostles as they looked up to heaven they heard a message from God. We have a God who cares, a Saviour who loves. We need to look away from our circumstances and look to the Lord. The way is Christ alone. False religion changes the teaching of the Bible, changes direction. Look to the Lord. God said to the disciples He would come again. What a message, what a hope. No wonder Peter and Paul could teach on the Resurrection. They lifted up their eyes and saw the Saviour.
There was another occasion where Jesus lifted up His eyes – when Lazarus died. (John 11:41). Jesus told them to lift the stone. When the stone was removed Lazarus came forth. We have to move something out of the way to come to the Lord. Jesus then prayed to the Father, it was a prayer that others might follow. He made a personal call to Lazarus.
Stephen also lifted his eyes to heaven. He saw God and Jesus at the right hand of the Father. What a wonderful welcome into heaven.
In this great chapter, called ‘The High Priestly prayer of the Saviour’, we see the glory of Christ, the glory of God and the glory of believers. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, the upper room and our lives today. Thank God for His glory and the fullness of His spirit. It was a happy day when we met the Saviour.