In the book of Luke chapter 22 it is the history of Peter's denial of the Master. Just moments before Peter said to Jesus "I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death". We know the story, Peter follows Jesus to the high priest's house and denies Jesus three times. Verse 61 is so telling of our lives. After the third betrayal it says, "And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter." I have sat and imagined what that look must have consisted of. Was it pain, frustration, compassion, all of the above? I wonder if it was the same look Jesus gave Judas at the garden, when Judas betrayed him.
The setting is this, Jesus (the true high priest), is being judged within the house of the high priest. As Peter denies Jesus, I imagine the look was the look of a true high priest. Jesus was inspecting Peter as he had just moments earlier, when he foretold of the ensuing betrayal. In the old testament it was the high priest's job to inspect sickness of an Israelite who had a skin sickness to see the extent of the sickness and to see whether he was fit to enter the temple for worship. Jesus looked back at Peter and allowed him to know his condition, his true self. Just as God spoke in Daniel, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." In that gaze was the answer of why Jesus had to die, because he saw Peter as he really was, in need of salvation, "found wanting".
I can say I have felt that gaze of our Lord upon my life at times. So many prayers are said at altars across America that say something like this, "Jesus, I will follow you everywhere you go, no matter what." I have prayed these prayers and just as Peter did, betrayed Jesus within minutes of my zealous proclamations. It has become very clear that I have been weighed in the balances, and am found wanting.
Even now I am walking a new path, a path less traveled and Jesus is so patiently gazing at me. Allowing me to feel his inspecting gaze upon my life, and mercifully allowing me to see a portion of my true state of being.
The true joy is Jesus already knows the extent of my weakness. He has inspected me and has already paid the price of me being a spiritual lightweight. Theresa of Avilla said a prayer that I can relate to very often, "Jesus, I don't love you, I don't even want to love you, I want to want to love you." You see, I don't even register on the love scale, yet it is not my love that is weighed any more, it is His. He is my hero, my friend, my savior, my brother, my wise sage. He is all things to all people including the great equalizer, so we can stand before the Mighty One and say with confidence, because of Jesus I am not found wanting.
One of the greatest gifts our Lord and saviour can offer us is a true understanding of self. He often will inspect our sicknesses and will allow them to be brought to the surface so we can again realize our need for Him.
All praise and thanks be given unto our Saviour Jesus the Christ for his diligent and patient love and affection, stripping away our vaniere that we might honestly and freely worship Him whom we do not deserve.
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