The Apple of His Eye

When Christ scans the peoples of the earth, his eyes light up with delight when they rest upon certain people.

Is it the movie stars, or the athletes, or the kings and queens of the earth that thrill Christ’s heart? Is it the successful, the glamorous, the brilliant? John Owen, who definitely would not have made the cover of People Magazine, gives us a clue:

“There is not the meanest (lowliest), the weakest, the poorest believer on earth that Christ does not value more highly than all the world besides” (Communion with God).

The homeliest Christian living in obscurity and poverty is more delightful to Jesus than all the stars of Hollywood or heaven. A toothless, crippled, Christian in a hovel in Sri Lanka is more appealing to Christ than a non-Christian king in a palace. My friend who called upon the Savior last year who now lies on his bed ravaged by cancer, with sunken eyes and cheeks and legs swollen from the tumor in his back is more beautiful to Jesus than a thousand sunsets. More than all the beauty in the world.

Why are believers, even the lowliest, so attractive to Christ? Not because we’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it God likes us. No, there is nothing in us who are sinful to appeal to God. We who have called on Christ are lovely to him because God has chosen us and given us to Jesus, and Christ has purchased us with his own life. The Father has made us the apple of his eye and his treasured possession because he’s washed us with the blood of Christ, joined us to Christ, clothed us with the righteousness of Christ, and is transforming us into the image of Christ.

We are delightful to Christ because we’re his bride. Even the most stunning seraphim in heaven aren’t clothed in the radiance of Christ the way the poorest believer is.

C.S. Lewis says “It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.” – Weight of Glory

Someday believers will be like Christ, for we shall see him as he is (1 JN 3:2). Our new heavenly bodies will be as different from these bodies as a tree is from a seed (1 CO 15:35ff). We simply can’t imagine the beauty of our heavenly bodies. Imagine if you had never seen a tree in your life and I showed you an acorn and said that someday this tiny seed would be majestic, spreading out, and full of thousands of green leaves. You couldn’t imagine it. Paul compares these earthly bodies to seeds that will someday be more glorious than we can imagine.

We’ll look at each other “when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed” (2 TH 1:10), and we’ll see the glory of Christ shining through each other.

So take a second look at your fellow-believer. Even if he or she appears to you to be the dullest and most uninteresting person in the world, remember Christ values them more than all the world. And even if you consider yourself to be insignificant, remember, you are his treasured possession, the apple of his eye.

  • Jennifer Altrogge

    Reading your post reminded me of the importance of loving the saints as Christ does…every one of them. Those who are unlovely to my human eye, are beautiful clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Thanks, Mark for your insightful posts.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Mark, you painted a beautiful picture and a stirring reminder, and thank you for faithfully encouraging us~ Johanna

  • Pastor Glenn

    I am so reminded of what Mother Teresa said about the poorest of the poor — that in them she sees Christ “in distressing disguise.” How wonderful if we could look at our Christian sisters and brothers with much the same thing as Christ has in mind when he does the looking. BTW, the C.S. Lewis reference is wonderful; I hadn’t thought about these images for years. Thanks for reminding.

  • Youngblood

    Give Jesus Glory, his love cuts through everything in order to reach us and fulfill us. (This ones for you Jennifer) In Ephesians it says that we are to good to all people, especially those in the household of faith. People are awesome and God seems to agree, so to everyone on this blog; You’re Awesome!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Jen, yes, I want to love every saint with “the affection of Christ Jesus”, like Paul did. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Thanks for your kind words, Johanna.

    Pastor Glenn, what a great quote from Mother Teresa. Thanks for commenting.

    Amen, Ben – people are awesome. Especially when they have a British accent!