“Looking Unto Jesus”
The words “looking unto” imply much more than a casual glance, or even a careful look at an object. The words imply both a deliberate turning of the eyes away from one object to another and a constant stare upon the object unto which we look. If we would run with patience the race that is set before us, and finish it, we must be incessantly “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” “We must not give a look, or squint at anything that may hinder this fair and lovely sight of Jesus” (Isaac Ambrose).
The Lord commanded Lot, “Look not behind thee” (Gen. 19:17), as he was fleeing from Sodom. So we must not look with yearning eyes upon this perishing world if we would flee from it. When God saves his elect, he causes the saved sinner to look to Christ "At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made” (Isa. 17:7-8).
The eye of faith is set on things above (Col. 3:2). “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Cor. 4:18). Looking to an eternal God, an eternal Christ, an eternal Spirit, an eternal crown, and an eternal glory dims the luster of the world’s most alluring temporal things. What are these visible things in comparison with the invisible things to which we look?
That One to whom we look is here called - “JESUS.” This name was twice given to the incarnate God, our Savior. It was first given to him when he came into the world to do the will of his Father, when he came to fulfil his suretyship engagements for us, when he came to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). Then, when he had finished his work, when he had with his own blood obtained eternal redemption for us, this name was given to him forever (Phil. 3:10).
“JESUS” is both the name of our Redeemer’s humiliation and the name of his exaltation. This name was first bestowed upon the Son of God as he came to obey the law of God as our Representative and to die for the satisfaction of the law’s justice as our Substitute. It was the name of his humiliation as Jehovah’s righteous Servant.
Yet, this is the name of our Savior’s exaltation and glory, too. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” The name given to Immanuel in his transcendent glory is “JESUS.” The name signifies Savior. He is called Jesus because “he shall save his people from their sins!” He does not try to save. He saves. He does not offer salvation. He saves. “Looking unto Jesus” we have been saved, are being saved, and shall be saved. Look to Jesus, the Christ, and you shall be saved.