You should never look at the sun through a telescope.
That seems like common sense, right?
If you wanted to invite a friend over to see the sun with you, you’d only be able to look at it for a couple of seconds—that’s not a challenge, by the way.
In Philippians 1:19-21 the apostle Paul drops a couple of his most famous lines, in particular, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” But in favor of what fits on a coffee cup we tend to overlook that verse 21 is explaining verse 20.
“…with full courage, now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”
[Entering preacher mode]
That word honor is where we derive our word magnify or make great. So to honor Christ is to magnify him or to make him great.
Now harken back to biology, which may be a more distant harkening for some. Do you recall looking at gross things through a microscope? The scope was magnifying those subjects because they were too tiny to see in great detail with the naked eye.
On the flip side, if you’ve ever looked through a telescope in order to catch a glimpse of the craters of the moon or to gaze at constellations, you’re also magnifying, but in a much different sense. You’re looking at objects that are already enormous but are too far off to see well.
Honoring Christ in life or death is telescope type magnification. There is so much darkness and obstruction and smog in this world that it’s difficult for people to see Jesus. So in a sense, you-Christian-become the telescope.
Your life draws Jesus near. The words you speak, the actions you carry out, and the attitude with which you do all these things, they can potentially draw Jesus near so that others might get a glimpse of his grandeur and beauty.
Not to get too judgment house—car wrecks happen—what if you die tonight—on you, but you may be the last chance someone has to really see Jesus.
That extra bit of time you took to have a conversation or the extra effort you gave to help a stranger out, those are hinges on which the doors of eternity swing sometimes.
Jesus is infinitely large. You don’t make him any bigger than he is.
But are you drawing him close to others through your life? How will you telescope Jesus today?