Yesterday, I watched a video with an expectant mother about the impact eye contact and physical affection have on a newborn baby. Did you know some babies fail to thrive and even die if they don’t receive this kind of emotional support in the first days of life?
Well, it made me think about Christmas.
I thought about Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. God chose Mary and Joseph to care for his newborn Son, to love him and nurture him, to teach him and protect him. Mary and Joseph were the first people to look into Jesus’ eyes.
Can you believe it? They looked into his eyes! And they weren’t the only ones, either. Shepherds came to the manger to see Jesus. Wise men came a little later to see him with their eyes. Simeon, Anna, they all looked into Jesus’ eyes and blessed God.
Why this fascination with eye contact?
Eye contact with a newborn initiates an emotional loving connection.
In the Old Testament, Moses asked to see God’s face, but God said he wouldn’t survive the sight. (Exodus 33:20) But the incarnation of Jesus, gave us the ability to look God in the face – in the eyes.
God, in his omniscience, knew we needed contact with him to understand his love for us. He knew we needed to make eye contact with him, to touch him and be touched by him.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. I John 1:1-5 NIV
Isn’t that amazing?! God came to us as a man so he could look us in the eyes and tell us he loved us so much he was willing to sacrifice his life to reconcile us to his Father and to himself for eternity.
Mary and Joseph were able to look into the eyes of Jesus. The disciples and the multitudes and the Pharisees and even the men who crucified Jesus were given the opportunity to look into the eyes of Jesus. But what about us?
We have not seen Jesus in person. But the Bible does promise we too will see Jesus face to face.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
I John 3:2 NIV