“We want to see Jesus,” they said (Jn. 12.21). This request, from a group of anonymous Greeks who had come to Jerusalem, triggered Jesus’ awareness that “the hour has come.”
Augustine, too, recognizes the essential need to see Jesus. In his exploration of scripture, Augustine finds a steady engagement of God with creation through signs and theophanies throughout the Old Testament, culminating in the singular Sign and ultimate Theophany: Christ. If, then, Christ is the zenith of divine presence, the one human being in whom the gateway to God is opened for all people, then it is imperative that we see him.
So. Hmm. Seeing Jesus. I first think of the Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes that I read as a child. Did you? We would see Jesus in the temple, with the children, teaching the disciples, calming the storm. He always had clean white robes, a gentle posture, and a faraway look on his face.
Or there were the Warner Sallman images, so familiar to those of us “of a certain age”! Again, the distant gaze, the silent gaze, the placid demeanor.