asked this question “... where does my help come from? (And he gave the
answer.) My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth.” (Psalm
Looking up to Jesus is an attitude one develops over a long span of time. A Wollof adage states that ‘a suckling child would look at its mother,’ highlighting a dependent relationship. We must begin to cultivate such an assurance when we run to Jesus in search of solutions to our multiple problems. In this article we will examine other cases where the people looked to Jesus for healing and also explore other domains relative to salvation, strength, encouragement and breakthrough for which people of His day looked up to Him.
As a sinner look up to Him
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said; ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.‘ ” (Luke 18:13) This tax collector knew his salvation was in Christ Jesus and not on his personal accomplishments. So he humbled himself before God, looking to ‘the author and finisher of our faith,’ the Lord Jesus. He left there relieved, having cast all his cares on the Burden-bearer.
A much-valued servant of a Roman centurion (a military officer) was sick and about to die. This soldier had been of great help to the Jewish community. He had heard of Jesus and had asked some elders to invite Him to his house to heal his servant. Jesus was on His way to the centurion’s house, when the centurion sent some friends to tell Jesus not to bother coming all the way. He should just say the word. “But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell one ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ Just a word from Jesus would have sufficed.
Lazarus, a friend of our Lord fell ill and “The sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ But Jesus was on a mission in Bethany and did not return before Lazarus passed away and was buried. When He finally appeared, one of the sisters greeted Him with “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:3, 21-22) Jesus asked them to lead Him to the grave site where Lazarus was buried. After affirming that He was the Resurrection and the Life, our Lord Jesus proceeded with raising Lazarus from the dead. What an encouragement!
In an exchange with a Samaritan woman by a well, outside the town named Sychar, Jesus asked the woman for some water to drink. First she objected: “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus retorted, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” Again the woman reacted: “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Her attitude confirmed what happens when you are ignorant of someone’s identity. Whilst Jesus was opening up to her, she was boasting about what patriarch Jacob had done. Little did she realise that the One in front of her was greater than Jacob. Jesus replied: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4: 13-14) Then it suddenly clicked; she responded: “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” ( verse 15)
A rich young ruler left all he had to do to enquire from the Master how to attain eternal life. Yes, he knew the law and practised that from his youth. But when the Lord asked him to sell all that he had and give to the poor, he left the scene sad, because he was ‘married’ to his wealth. He came knocking on heaven’s door and had a change of heart when the door was opened to him.
What shall we say about Blind Bartimaeus? The Syro-phoenician woman? The woman who bled for twelve years and looked to Jesus and received her breakthrough? What shall we say about Paul and Silas wrongly charged and put in prison; who at midnight sang praises and prayed until the prison doors flung open. All of them looked to Jesus.
May you never turn down an appointment with heaven when you see one! May you never turn your back on a glorious opportunity coming from the Lord, when He provides answers to your problems!
Faith, strength, being well-focussed and perseverance would be all you will need not to miss the train that is heaven-bound.