Having a Vision for Christ – By Father Andrew Bahhi
This Sunday is the 3rd Sunday after Resurrection. As we read, Christ is Risen. Indeed, He is risen. We should carry it through all our life not only after the Resurrection of the Christ but every day. Because as Christians, we know the evil always tries to attack us. We fall under the burden of our lives, trials and our sins. So, we always need to remember; as Christ is risen from death, we can also rise from death.
At the beginning of the liturgy, we had a beautiful reading from the Gospel of John 3:31-39. This text is kind of preparation of the Disciples for the mission that they will be commissioned after receiving the Holy Spirit, which is the day after the Pentecost, 50 days after the Resurrection of Our Savior Jesus Christ.
This happened after Jesus met the Samaritan women where Jesus was passing through an area called Samaria. Samaritans and Jews were not getting along. They had some misunderstanding and they hated each other. So, someone who is not Samaritan passing through that area may face some problems. Jesus was sitting down by the well and a Samaritan women came by to get some water from the well. Jesus asked her to give him some water. After all those conversations about the living water and eternal life, the women went back to her village saying, “I found the Messiah.”
The Disciples were gone to buy some food. Later, the Disciples came by Jesus and asked Him to eat with them. Jesus told them “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me”. The disciples were all confused. And Jesus told them “I am talking about the Spiritual Food.” Here, we can see how much Jesus was determined to teach the disciples the new meaning of food. Because their focus was on the physical food. We can eat to survive. But Jesus wanted to shift the meaning and He put it into a spiritual way and said; the food we really should care about is the Spiritual Food.
I wish we can pay attention and we can have this hunger for our Spiritual food as much as we do care about our physical food.
Having A Vision
We will never be able to focus on our spiritual food if we don’t have vision for our life, if we don’t have very clear goal for our life in the future and for after life. That is why Jesus was going to Jerusalem. He had the vision. “I am going to be crucified and to save the whole world.” He had vision for what He came for. That is why He didn’t care about the earthly food.
What is this word Vision?
I think in our Middle Eastern culture we do not worry about this word much. We do not worry about the future, and this is not a good thing. All the successful companies and businesses set up a vision, a goal for their businesses. In certain periods they review and check how much of their vision is achieved.
Unfortunately, we do not have this kind of planning. Jesus, by saying this to the disciples, He was fixing our eyes, how to look to the future. We cannot rely on our limited experience. We have to rely on our vision, we have to see what we should do in the future.
What is vision?
In the book of Proverbs 29:18, The spirit say, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In other words, when people don’t accept the divine guidance in their lives, if the church does not determine to have spiritual guidance and think only physical/material needs, then we will perish.
So, the people who do not accept the divine guidance of God will run wild, will get lost in their lives spiritually. So that is why we must focus on the vision. What is the purpose of me as a Christian, as a member in the body of this church? What is the vision for myself, my salvation, and the church life? If I do not have this kind of thinking, the church will not last.
You have to do what God wants you to do. God wants you to have clear vision for your spiritual life and the life of the church in general. Otherwise, we will get lost. We will lose the sense of our faith.
How do we improve our vision?
In the Book of Job 42:5 its written: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you.” Job went through many sufferings and hard times, at the end of all his sufferings he said to God, “but now my eyes see you.”
Carrying the Cross
What makes the difference between a normal Christian and a highly active Christian who has a vision in his spiritual life? It is the pain that this person goes through. But in this life, most of us do not want to suffer for God. No one is willing to carry a little bit of the Cross with Jesus. But the Bible is clear about it. If you want to have a vision in your spiritual life, the pain is the key to improve your vision.
There is a big difference between knowing God by hearing him and knowing God by testing Him. That will lead us to not only hearing Him but also to see Him, to taste Him, to know who Jesus is. There is a famous quote saying “There is a big difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus.
So, ask yourself if you only know Jesus or if you know who Jesus is. If you don’t have vision, you are in the group of the people who only know Jesus. All those people who put their lives for Jesus, the believers, the people who are already in heaven had vision. They knew who Jesus is and kept their faith until the last second of their life.
By Jesus saying to them “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me”, He was telling us, if you have vision, you will always work hard all the days of your life.
How is your spiritual vision today?
Your answer is particularly important for your salvation. If you are blinded by sin, The Savior on Cross offers redemption to clean your spiritual eyes, so you can work harder for your salvation.
The only thing you need is to come to Him and ask Him to wash you and your spiritual eyes. To wash your heart to be able to see Him and follow Him. So that you surrender and give your life to Him.
Learn more in Father Andrew’s sermon video here.
May 21, 2023