Are You Looking Heavenward?


Last year, I slowly studied through the book of Matthew. It took me six months to get through the book, but I’m glad I stuck with it. As I was studying through Matthew, one of the things that struck me was how Jesus handled the disciples.

One of my favorite passages out of Matthew is Matthew 16:5-12:

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” - Matthew 16:5-12 (ESV)

Here, Jesus is trying to warn the disciples about the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Instead, the disciples take this in the most literal sense and begin talking about how they brought no bread.

But, I love how Jesus handles them. He first points them back to the times that food was provided for them when they had none. He lists off twice where He showed up for them, and the people around them. He wanted them to see that He is bigger than these earthly concerns they have; that He can handle them.

He points them heavenward.

He points them back to Himself, and miracles He performed to care for them. And then, He explains what He was actually talking about. There are many passages like this throughout the Bible where Jesus is pointing heavenward, back to Himself.

Sometimes, we can get so focused on the here and the now. We get so worried about what is to come or what could come. But sometimes, we need someone to point us heavenward.

These little reminders can come in big and little ways.

Sometimes, I’ll be driving and will suddenly be hit with the majesty of creation.

That’s Jesus, pointing me heavenward.

Sometimes, I see prayers being answered.

That’s Jesus, pointing me heavenward.

Sometimes, I am given peace in a chaotic situation.

That’s Jesus, pointing me heavenward.

Time and time again, Jesus shows up and points me back towards Himself.

He reminds me that He is in control.

He reminds me that He will provide for my needs.

Looking heavenward is the act of looking up from the finite and instead, looking heavenward on Jesus’ infinite power and love.

Whenever you find yourself getting anxious, stressed, sad or angry; remember to look heavenward. To remind yourself to look heavenward, focus on Philippians 3:20; which tells us where our citizenship is:

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 3:20 (ESV)

Questions to ponder:

What situation in your life do you need to look heavenward?

What are some ways Jesus has pointed you to look heavenward?


Mariah Roberson is passionate about leading people to know and love Jesus for themselves. She is a college student, who lives outside Wichita, KS. When not doing homework or working, Mariah enjoys reading any book she can get her hands on, and writing and leading Bible studies. She believes that God shows up in the every day, laughter is some of the best medicine and that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth.