Focusing on Jesus

Since our quarantine began, I have been creating a video-based Bible study for our Plymouth Park students teaching through the book of 2 Timothy. One of the verses that has really stuck out to me is 2:8, which reads, “Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel.”

 

Paul is telling his protégé Timothy this as he faces the threat of false teachers in Ephesus, but I believe it has application for just about any situation, especially the one we are in right now. There is no doubt that, by now, COVID-19 has affected each and every one of us, albeit in different ways. Maybe it has kept you from going to work and getting a paycheck. Maybe it has kept you from visiting your elderly parent in the nursing home. Whatever difficulty you are facing during this time, let me encourage you with the words of 2 Timothy 2:8, “Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead…”

 

Why should we keep our focus on Jesus? Because in Jesus we have hope. Because in Jesus we have life. And Paul doesn’t just say to keep your attention on Jesus, he says keep your attention on Jesus “as risen from the dead.” It is so important to remember that we trust in a living Savior. As the Bill Gaither song says,

 

“Because He lives I can face tomorrow

Because He lives all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living just because He lives.”

 

One way we can help keep our focus on Jesus is by reading the Scriptures, which testify about Him. Of course the entire Bible speaks of Jesus, but there are four particular New Testament passages that theologians refer to as “High Christological” passages. The passages are John 1:1-18, Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-20, and Hebrews 1:1-4, and each one extols the greatness and majesty of the God-man Jesus Christ. John tells us that Jesus the Word is God who became flesh for us. Philippians tells us how He humbly left His glory in heaven to come and die for us. Colossians tells us that Jesus is preeminent—He takes first place in everything. And finally, Hebrews tells us that Jesus is our creator and sustainer and that He is better than anything else, even better than the angels.

 

So in the midst of whatever you are currently going through, I would encourage you to take some time this week to read these passages and allow them to help you keep your focus on Jesus.