Look To Jesus And Live

“So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live” (Num. 21:9).

God’s chosen people were liberated from Egyptian enslavement and were journeying to a prosperous land to call their own. However, the journey was not void of problems, and the people grew tired, impatient, and rebellious. They complained bitterly about the lack of bread and water, and the despicable food (v. 5).  They rebelled against Moses, their human leader, and God, their ever-present, all-powerful, and all-knowing Liberator and Leader.

In the desert venomous snakes bit some, and many died. This was regarded as divine punishment. They acknowledged the error of their ways, repented, and pleaded with Moses to intercede for them (v. 7). Moses prayed, and God told him to construct a bronze snake, hoist it on a pole, and that whoever was bitten should look at the bronze snake and would live. It should be noted that it was not the bronze snake that healed them but their faith in God. Healing came when they obeyed God’s instruction to look on the bronze snake. 

In helping Nicodemus understand that every life can be transformed by believing in him, Jesus said: “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3: 14-15).Looking to Jesus will result in salvation from the sickness of sin and eternal separation from God, or spiritual death. 

It has been a universal practice to look in various directions to fulfil the need to have life and to live life “more abundantly” (John 10:10). Some of these directions relate to children, spiritual leaders, wealth, fame, philanthropy, politicians, and popularity.  

Jesus is the life and the life giver.  Without Jesus we are living dead but when we look to him, when we  will become alive and be guaranteed “eternal life” (John 3: 15) and participation in God’s Kingdom. Friends, God did not give up on the rebellious Hebrews but made a way for them to be healed and live. Like God, Jesus does not condemn anyone, regardless of how sinful and rebellious he or she is. Jesus gives life when we love to him.

In the very powerful invitation to salvation, William A. Ogden wrote:

I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
This message unto you I’ll give,
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live”

“Look and live,” my brother, live,
Look to Jesus now, and live;
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live”

Yes! Jesus brings clarity and authenticity to our existence, and when we look to him, we will experience a more abundant life. When we look to Jesus, we will have a new zest for living and for making this world a better place. Our world can be different; our experiences and responses can be more creative, imaginative, and life-affirming if we look constantly on Jesus.

Therefore, as we tread the treacherous paths of life (Matt. 14:30) and daily run our race for Jesus, let us keep our eyes fixed on him (Heb. 12:2). Let us never forget that when we look fully in the wonderful face of Jesus, all the things of this world will decrease in brightness because of his love, power, compassion, and grace. 

Thought: Focus on Jesus and see the world through his eyes. 

Prayer: God, the road is long and often lonely. Help me to always
look at Jesus and see everything and everyone through his eyes, for Christ’s sake. Amen!