September 26, 2007

Cured from my blindness

My Bible class is “gazing into the glory of the Lord,” depending on His promise that if we do this, He will change our lives. One of the most important truths I’ve seen as I prepare our study material is that without Him opening our eyes, we could not see anything glorious about Him. That glory is for those with the gift of spiritual vision. For everyone else, He is hidden.

In Matthew 11:25-27, Jesus says, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Directly before this prayer, Matthew records Jesus judging those who thought He was a glutton and a drunkard because He associated with “tax collectors and sinners.” I cannot imagine how they would think that of Him, but they did.

After that, He rebuked others who saw His mighty deeds but refused to repent. They seemed totally clueless regarding “these things,” and particularly clueless about His identity.

A parallel passage in Luke 10 places the same statement after a description of the disciples returning from a mission. They were excited because “even the demons are subject to us in Your name,” but Jesus told them they ought to “rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Then He thanked God that He had hidden “these things” from the wise and prudent, obviously a bit of sarcasm against the people who thought they knew everything, and revealed them to babes . . . those without any so-called knowledge about anything.

Jesus told the disciples they were special because, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

I’m reading a book about the complexity of child development and how various factors can inhibit the way a person deals with life. The author is brilliant. This book is perhaps the best I’ve ever read on this topic. I’ve learned a great deal and admire the research and insights offered. However, I’m beginning to notice that despite complex explanations of human behavior, there is a blank spot. The author is doing his best to describe why people do what they do, and yet he misses the fact that every part of our behavior, even as children, reflects our selfish and sinful resistance to our Maker.

God designed us to function in harmony with His will, but we don’t get it. The author of this book says we ‘don’t get it’ but he hasn’t been able to name exactly what ‘it’ is. He has come as close as the human mind can to what God says about us—without actually seeing or hearing what He says.

If I were asked to name the most precious gift anyone has ever given me, I’d have to say how much I’m beginning to value the revealed will of God. It isn’t because I feel any special insights or know some deeper knowledge, but that I am realizing how blind and deaf and ignorant I would be about spiritual things if Jesus had not opened my eyes and ears and heart.

Seeing Jesus is totally incredible because I know there is nothing in me that deserves it. The Lord decided to save me and give me eyes to see Him, then says, “Blessed are the eyes that see. . . .”

Along with the women in my study group, as we gaze at Jesus, I am humbled, filled with awe and so amazingly blessed.

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