Hearing And Seeing But Not Hearing Or Seeing
By Eli Stutzman
July 1, 2010
In Matthew 13:13, Jesus said: Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
During a recent conversation with a person seeking to be baptized, I sensed the lack of assurance of her salvation. She was struggling with God's forgiveness and deliverance. So I asked her, do you remember the story of the one thief on the cross when he looked over and said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" and Jesus responded, by saying, "verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise?"
When she said that she remembered the story, I asked her, "do you think the thief had hopes that he would make it to paradise?"
"Of course", was her reply.
Then I asked her, why are you able to answer with so much assurance? To which she replied, "Because Jesus told him so."
Exactly, I replied. Therein lies the answer to actually knowing your destiny.
Even though you and I hear the exact same words, we may not perceive the same thing. Consider that the thief on the other side of Jesus also heard the same words, yet he did not respond in the same way. There is seeing and yet not really ‘getting it.' There is hearing and not understanding.
When God speaks to our spirit inside us, we usually do not hear a voice as did the thief on the cross. Yet, in spite of hearing directly from the Lord of Glory, the second thief didn't have the words enter deep into his soul. It was all based on understanding of who Jesus actually was and is.
- Could Jesus actually influence the outcome of a man's life and death?
- Was He actually the Son of God with power to forgive sin and grant eternal life?
- Was His promise going to be honored by God the Father?
Often, when we read the bible, we read but do not ‘get it'. When I was young, I used to think, if only I heard God speak in an audible voice, I would just have so much more assurance. Now I know, that was foolish thinking.
Words I hear, can be quickly forgotten, however, when they are written down, I can read them over and over and always be freshly reminded.
In Romans 8:16, it says; The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
When the Spirit speaks to my spirit and tells me I am a child of God, I hear no voice; no bells or heavenly music. The way I know, my spirit comes to total peace and I know the question is settled in my inner person without a doubt. That often comes when you look at scripture, which is the Word of God.
I once had part in a serious matter that was before a church council. I was losing sleep and praying during the middle of the night. A chart came to mind that I had not considered before. As I conceded that it was a powerful way of presenting a message, total peace came over me and I went to sleep immediately. The next day the council was presenting its final assessment and presentations were made around the room. I was last to speak. I got up from my chair and began to draw a chart in the form of a timeline on the blackboard. I recall being very nervous and shaky. Yet the impact was quite dramatic. Understanding began to show on the faces of those present. The outcome was definitely affected. We had spoken all the same information previously, but it failed to show a complete picture.
We often perceive the power of the word of God by the peace in our soul that cannot be controlled by the mind.
I have many times written of the need to read scripture. Often, when reading a certain passage, we suddenly know exactly what it means to us personally. The troubled heart finds deep rest. Again, God's spirit speaks to our spirit, and the troubling issue is settled. Salvation has to be the first question to be firmly settled.
Which passage will touch you? I don't know. The verse that first touched me was John 3:14 and 15. That may seem odd, since many people have been touched by John 3:16, but my verse of note was ahead of that. I have no idea why.
Experience teaches me to expect the unexpected. Your passage may be a totally different one from others. But please do look for it! Remember, I'm praying for you!
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