Okay. Are you ready for a vision test. Take a look at this picture and tell me what you see. The face of Jesus is to most obvious thing but take a closer look. Do you see people standing off to the left? To the right? Probably. But do you see Jesus riding on a donkey? Do you see the stone arch in the background creating a halo over the head of Jesus? Or is His hair actually the inside of the arch that the people are standing in?
In the Book of Mark, Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah saying, "‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” - Isaiah 6:9, Mark 4:12
We tend to see things based on our own personal experiences and through the lens of the things we have learned.
Currently we have several people running for the office of President of The United States. They all have eyes and they all can see but each of them sees things differently. The same can be said of our churches. That's why there are so many different denominations.
Everybody has heard of Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective. Sherlock gives us another example similar to Isaiah 6 from the book A Scandal in Bohemia. Speaking to Watson, Holmes says,
“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.”
“Well, some hundreds of times.”
“Then how many are there?”
“How many? I don't know.”
“Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed.”
The other day my wife and I were at our grandson's birthday party. He's four years old already! We were preparing to pray before our meal that day and his mother said to him, "It's time to pray. Fold your hands."
He folded his hands, closed his eyes and bowed his head. One could easily see an obedient child but his actions also demonstrated a child who has been trained in the ways of The Lord. No one told him to bow his head or to close his eyes but someone clearly had told him to do that in the past. We can observe things about people simply by watching them.
I once asked someone at work how they were doing. "Fine," they said. But I observed in this persons eyes a different story so I asked again. That's when the tears began to flow. We then prayed together and now we are amazingly close friends, simply by observing . . . and acting.
As we live our lives, people will be watching US. What do THEY preserve about us? Will they think we are educated? Will they think we are nice? Caring" Giving? Will they think we are Christians simply by watching us?
Anybody can walk into a church. That's where Christians hang out, right? Wrong. Christians don't just simply go to church, they LIVE their faith. They are taught by their parents, they read God's Word and they live it out.
Our pastor delivered an amazing closing line to his sermon on Sunday. He asked us a question.
Knowing that God can see into our hearts . . . what will He see in yours?
May we live our lives as Jesus would. Always seeing AND preserving. May we take the time to look behind the fake smiles and into the hearts of those around us. There is hurting everywhere. And we hold The First Aid Kit in our hearts - Jesus. Let us reach out in love to those who are only seeing and not yet perceiving.
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7
You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 - Pink Floyd