Returning the Gaze of God

Steven Rodriguez

Read: Mark 10:17-22

Jesus, looking at him, loved him. (v. 21)

God looks at you with love. Are you willing to seek his face, to return his gaze? In today’s passage, Jesus walks through the Ten Commandments by rote, listing them off like an imaginary checklist. You can almost see the rich man nodding his head with each commandment, his self-assurance growing with each mental check mark. But then Jesus asks the rich man to do the opposite of coveting. He asks the rich man to sell all that he has. It is a fitting climax to obeying the commandments, and it cuts to the throbbing center of it all. The rich young ruler thought that his line of sight to God was clear. But Jesus could see that all of his stuff was clouding his vision.

When we covet things, they become obstacles, obstructing our heart’s vision of God. But thanks be to God: even when we cannot see God, God cuts through our sin to see us, in Jesus Christ. Did you see it? Right before Jesus issues his challenge, the text says, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.” It begins with a look of love, the divine gaze. This tenth commandment, “You shall not covet” (Exod. 20:17), brings us full circle to the first commandment, where God asks us to have no other gods in the way of our vision (v. 3). The Ten Commandments begin and end with looking. In Jesus Christ, God remembers you: he looks on you with love. Can you remember him and look to him in return? —Steven Rodriguez

Prayer: My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek” (Ps. 27:8).