Advent 2022 — December 9

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 16:15-17

37 Turn away my eyes from looking at what is worthless;
revive me in your ways.
38 Fulfill your word to your servant,
which is to bring about a reverence for you….

Psalm 119:37-38

“Get Your Eyes Ready for Christmas”[1]
by John Piper

The absolutely indispensable work of God in revealing the Son—both then to Peter and now to you and me—is not the adding to what we see and hear in Jesus himself but the opening of the eyes of our hearts to taste and see the true divine glory of what is really there in Jesus.

When people have doubts about the truth of Jesus, don’t send them away to seek special messages from God. Point them to Christ. Tell them what you have seen and heard in his life and teachings. Why? Because this is where God breaks in with his revealing power. He loves to glorify his Son! He loves to open the eyes of the blind when they are looking at his Son!

God does not reveal his Son to me by coming to me and saying, “Now, John, I know that you don’t see anything magnificent in my Son. You don’t see him as all-glorious and divine and attractive above all worldly goods. You don’t see him as your all-satisfying treasure, and you don’t see his holiness and wisdom and power and love as beautiful beyond measure. But take my word for it, he is all that. Just believe it.” No!

Such faith would be no honor to the Son of God. It cannot glorify the Son. Saving faith is based on a spiritual sight of Jesus as he is in himself, the all-glorious Son of God. And this spiritual sight is given to us through his inspired Word, the Scriptures. And the eyes of our hearts are opened to recognize him and receive him not by the wisdom of flesh and blood but by the revealing work of his heavenly Father.

The apostle Paul said, “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

How shall you prepare your heart this Christmas to receive Christ? Fix your gaze on him in the Bible. Look to Christ! Consider Jesus. And pray. Look beyond your own flesh and blood, and ask that God would give you eyes to see and ears to hear that you might cry out with Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

Application & Challenge

How can you fix your eyes on Jesus? Maybe, outside of these Advent readings and devotions, you have not been spending time in God’s Word, or maybe there is something you need to stop looking at – an ungodly TV show, inappropriate websites, etc. If you are a smartphone user, look at your screen time. On an iPhone, it will tell you how many hours – that’s right hours – you have spent that day and week on various apps and/or websites.

Challenge yourself to:

  • Repent of fixing your eyes on worthless things and pray to God to turn your eyes from worthless things from worthless things and that He revive you.
  • Delete apps that you have allowed to eat up too much of your time, and find an accountability partner to help you monitor your phone use and help find healthy balance.

[1] John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014).

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