Friday, January 15, 2016

Jesus cast his eyes round about


After Jesus delivers the Beatitudes to the Nephites there’s this interesting verse in which I noticed a little detail that I hadn’t thought about before.

And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and said unto them: Behold, ye have heard the things which I taught before I ascended to my Father; therefore, whoso remembereth these sayings of mine and doeth them, him will I raise up at the last day. (3 Nephi 15:1)

I thought it was a little odd that it would record that Jesus cast his eyes round about on the multitude.  I thought, wouldn’t He be looking at everybody anyway while He was talking to them? So why record this right here?

In thinking about it more, I realized that the way Jesus did it, or the length of time that He did it must have really made an impression on people, such that it became a memorable thing. I’m sure you’ve probably been in church and had the experience that the speaker was looking at you and it seemed like he or she was talking to you.  I suspect Jesus did that same thing here, but He wasn’t talking, just looking from face to face, seeing each person individually, connecting with each person with His eyes. I’m sure if I had been there, I would have felt that He really saw me.  It would make His next words also feel really personal.

What does He say?

Behold, ye have heard the things which I taught before I ascended to my Father; therefore, whoso remembereth these sayings of mine and doeth them, him will I raise up at the last day.

So it’s almost as though He was reminding everybody of what they’d heard and promising each individual they could be raised up if they remembered and did those things.  

This shows me that Christ is profoundly aware of and cares for each individual.  I imagine that when Christ comes again He will continue to do this, to see us and connect with us so that we can know He cares about us. 

I also think this gives us an example to follow when giving talks or lessons, to look people in the face and meet people’s eyes and speak to them one by one instead of hiding in the lesson manual or the notes or in the scriptures. It can help us connect with our listeners better.