Sunday, May 08, 2011

Eyes - closed or open?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 24:13-35

TO CHEW ON: "But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him...Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him." Luke 24:16, 31

It's easy for us to be hard on the disciples, wondering how they could not know Jesus. How could they not have expected all that happened to happen? After all, Jesus tried to tell them so often and so clearly that He would die but would rise again.

However, I'm not at all sure I wouldn't have been just like those thick-headed unseeing people of Jesus' day. A little study on lack of spiritual insight reveals these things about it:

1. It was often a result of interpreting things literally instead of spiritually.
  • In Matthew 16:11 Jesus' disciples took His warning about the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees that way (thinking He was talking about literal bread when He was actually referring to doctrine).
  • In John 3:4, Nicodemus at first thought Jesus was telling him he must be physically reborn to enter the Kingdom of God.
  • In John 6:53-58 where Jesus spoke prophetically abut His death as commemorated in communion (eating His flesh and drinking His blood) many people were turned off and left Him (John 6:60,66).

2. Sometimes it was the result of a skeptical nature - like that of Thomas (John 20:25).

3. Sometimes it came from not wanting to hear the bad news. It seems that the disciples' inability to comprehend Jesus' words fell largely in that category (Mark 9:30-32).

4. At other times it seems to have come from the good news being too good to be true (actually a lack of faith).
  • The inability for the disciples to believe that Jesus had actually risen would be an instance of that (John 20:2,8-9)
  • So would today's story of the Emmaus disciples.
  • As would the believers' disbelief that Peter had escaped from prison and was at the door, as Rhoda the doorlady reported in Acts 12:15.

5. Paul tells us that spiritual perception can be impeded by carnality (worldly or fleshly-mindedness) in 1 Corinthians 3:1.

6. He also gives us the secret to understanding the Old Testament. In 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 he explains how when we acknowledge Jesus as the fulfillment of God's plan, the veil is taken from our eyes in regard to what is written there in type, symbol and prophecy.

7. And here's the good news for us today: spiritual insight is available to each one of us now, through the help of the Holy Spirit! 2 Corinthians 2:9-11 says:

9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
   “No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
      and no mind has imagined
   what God has prepared
      for those who love him.”
 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.- NLT

We don't have to be blind. We have the Holy Spirit - the Bible's inspiration - to help us understand it and apply it rightly to our lives and our times.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your Spirit which gives insight into the Bible. Help me to be alert and clear-visioned, understanding and interpreting life through the truth of Your word. Amen.

MORE: "Open the Eyes of My Heart" - sung by Michael W. Smith

TODAY IS MOTHER'S DAY! A bouquet to mothers everywhere. We love, value and appreciate you!

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