March 25, 2010

The Apple of God's Eye

Zechariah 2:1-9

Whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.
Zechariah 2:8


In the original Hebrew text of Zechariah, the phrase “the apple of his eye” is more literally translated “the little man of his eye.” If you look deeply into someone’s eyes, you actually see a tiny reflection of yourself in their pupils. (Our word “pupil” comes from the Latin “pupilla,” which means “little doll.”) At some point in our language development, the “little man” or “little doll” became the “apple” of the eye, possibly because pupils are round.

The amazing reality behind this image is that, figuratively speaking, when believers look into God’s eyes, they see their own reflection. Why? Because the Father is always looking at his children. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous … but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12; see Ps. 34:15-16). Sin turns our eyes away from God, but whenever we look back to God we are reminded of the steady gaze of his love. We see ourselves in God’s eyes.

All this is true because of what happened on the cross. If anyone was ever the apple of God’s eye, surely it was Jesus, God’s Son. But he closed his eyes in death so that being the apple of God’s eye could become a reality for us forever. God turned his face away from his Son for our sake, and now the eyes of the Father are focused, because of Christ, on us.

Thank you, Lord, for showing us so beautifully in your Word how much you love us. Help us always to look to you and to tell others how much you love them too. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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