“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
(Romans 12:5, NKJV)
Our hope as the church is the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ and that there is a day coming when we will see him in glory. But at the moment, we are being admonished of another way by which we can see the Lord. Though it seems a bit indirect, it is very important in our walk of faith.
In the Gospel of John chapter 14, Jesus had a discussion with his disciples concerning the Father. Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father and Jesus replied in verse 9:
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father?
Philip wanted to look at God in all His Glory but the Word of God says in the Gospel of John that no one has seen God at any time (John 1:18). Even Moses could not see God directly but only saw His “back parts”.
“And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”
(Exodus 33:23, KJV).
The Hebrew word for ‘back parts’ is âchôre which means behind, afterward or hereafter and the Hebrew word for ‘face’ is pânîym which means presence, person or forefront.
Moses saw the results of God’s presence or person, not any part of His Person. This result is what the God said when He said the He will allow His ‘goodness’ to pass over Moses (v19). This is basically how it was acknowledged that God has shown up; by the results His presence and works- His Goodness.
Jesus Christ is the perfect representation, the very image of the Father (Hebrews 1:2-3). For this reason, He told Philip that if they see Him, they see the Father. It was not a direct look at the Father but an indirect look at Him, as if seeing someone by looking at his image in a mirror.
We all want to see the Lord Jesus fully in His Person and Glory but Just as Jesus Christ spoke concerning the Father, He spoke concerning Himself to Saul in the Book of the Acts;
‘As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”‘
The Apostle Paul who was then Saul before His conversion, was persecuting the believers and the Lord Jesus made it known that Saul was persecuting Him. We as believers are the very representation of the Lord Jesus Christ because we are His body-the body of Christ. Just as Jesus made Saul aware of this revelation, we are also to grasp that every believer is a representation of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are expected to see Christ in others.
Many have an understanding of this but relate it to th people they have a very high opinion of; either in the level of the anointing (usually in the prophetic or the miraculous) or in their ‘flawless character’. But if the person does not meet up to their religious and righteous expectations, their ability to see Christ in that person becomes blurred or altogether dark. This should not be the case.
Jesus made a statement in Matthew 25:35-45, which ends with the lesson in verse 40:
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, you did it to Me.
The Lord Jesus identifies all believers to be one with him(Hebrews 2:11). From the passage in the Gospel of Matthew, He identifies with all believers even the least of them. This means that the imperfect, carnal and immature in Christ are still identified as the representation of Christ.
“So we, being many, ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, and individually members of one another.”
Being one body identifies all of us with Christ and He takes it personally when someone hurts even the smallest part of His body. Whenever one accuses, condemns or hurts a fellow believer no matter where he/she stands in maturity in Christ, that person does that to the Lord Jesus Himself. The best way to prevent this is to see Christ in Others.
The church is not the building but every single part of the Body of Christ coming together in fellowship.
Beloved in Christ, just like Philip; when one asks, “show us Jesus Christ”, we will point to ourselves and others in the Body.
Let us see Christ in others and treat each believer as we will treat our Lord Jesus Himself no matter who the person is. I see Christ in you. What about you?