Jesus was teaching in the temple on Tuesday of Holy Week, when the religious leaders approached him with some insincere questions. He was aware of their power, and he was aware of their hearts, but he did not cower from them. He went on the offense with them by telling them some parables that pointed to Israel’s rejection of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. After concluding one of the parable, “He fixed a steady gaze on them…” (Luke 20:17).
The phrase reminded me of another moment. Jesus was undergoing his first trial, and during that trial Peter was outside in the courtyard of high priest’s home. There in the courtyard Peter was accused of being a follower of Jesus, and three times he denied it. On his third denial Peter heard the rooster crow, and, “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter … and he went outside and wept bitterly,” (Luke 61-62).
As Jesus fixed his gaze upon the religious leaders and Peter, so He fixes His gaze upon every one of us who carries the name Christian, and what a penetrating look it is. Let us not be ashamed of what he sees. Let us not be found not producing fruit. Let us be found exercising the gifts of the Spirit that he has entrusted us with to produce that fruit. May Jesus fix his gaze upon us and say, “Well done my good and faithful servants. Well done good and faithful church!”