We often read a verse and don’t take the time to really think about what it means, or how it applies. We hear the verse so frequently, we sort of gloss right over it. But we should take a moment to pause and consider—how does this truth effect my life. Or more accurately, how should this truth effect my life?
For example, let’s take Hebrews 10:22. The verse is part of the “hinge” section of the book, a transition from doctrinal statements to the corresponding application. In the immediate context, this is the first of three “let us” exhortations in response to the access we have to God through Jesus, our “priest” (Hebrews 10:19-25). The verse reads:
“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (v. 22)
Beautiful words, and we could spend a lot of time digging into the Old Testament references at the end there. But let’s consider the first part, the exhortation to “draw near.” One of the first things we need to ask is, how do we do this? Contextually, it is clear that we are to draw near to God. But exactly how do we draw near?
Well, there are several ways, but let’s just look at one over-arching way for now. One way we draw near to God is by choosing to focus on Jesus. Just a little later in the book, the author of Hebrews urges us to be “fixing our eyes on Jesus” as we “run…the race” of life (12:1, 2). We need to behold Jesus by faith.
This is not a passing thought or a mere acknowledgement of who He is and what He did. Hebrews 3:1 calls us to “consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.” The verses then go on to describe a particular aspect we ought to consider. That same Greek word for “consider” is translated as “look more closely’ in Acts 7:31 and “observe” in Acts 27:39. The first instance refers to Moses approaching the burning bush to try and understand what was going on, and the other is a reference to sailors looking closely at a shore line to find a safe place to bring their boat to land. Neither was just a passing thought or glance.
So as we apply this to considering Jesus, we should learn to consider Him in this intentional, contemplative way. This doesn’t mean we sit and do nothing while we consider Him. No, not at all. We can think and meditate (Biblically) on Him throughout the day.
But how do we consider Him? Well, a simple way is to read a portion of the gospels in the morning, then think about what the verses reveal about Jesus, His character, His love, etc. Maybe pull out your phone on lunch break and reread the verses. You could also pause to go over and reflect on verses you are memorizing. Or choose to think about those verses while you’re doing a task that doesn’t require a whole lot of concentration. The point is to intentionally choose to direct our minds to the Lord.
Scripture tells us that beholding the Lord by faith is what will bring transformation. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” Yes, the Holy Spirit has a major role to play in this transformation, but part of that is by beholding by faith—considering and meditating on—the Lord Jesus Christ. We can get so distracted and caught up in other things, we don’t make time to consider Jesus. I know I get easily distracted and forget. But beholding Him is one way we can draw near to Him.
There are, of course, other ways we draw near. This is not the exclusive means of obeying the command. But this principle, the principle of beholding Jesus and considering Him, will give a frame work for the other ways. Lord willing, we’ll look at some of those in the weeks to come, but this is the foundation. Jesus has become our High Priest and brought our Redemption. So in response, we are to draw near by choosing to consider Him.
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