Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.
We’re all subject to where we live and many factors in how we see and hear things. Getting past all the noise will allow us to be able to see and hear God. We have to submit ourselves to God so we can see and hear what he wants us to.
Matthew 20:30-34 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
There were a multitude of people following Jesus – some wanted to hear and others wanted to find fault. How people saw the blind men by the road was affected by how people thought and their opinion of whether they were worthy of Jesus’ attention. We can see people through our own experiences – our successes or failures or what we think is right or wrong. We want to see things through God’s eyes and seek him to know how to understand what we see. We can see someone or something as a threat or challenge to keeping our own heart clean or a threat to what is right or wrong in our eyes. The Pharisees didn’t believe the man who Jesus healed of his blindness. They wanted to know how so they asked his parents. The parents were afraid so they told the Pharisees to ask their son how he was healed. The Pharisees were leaders among the Jews so they thought only they could do such things. For the healing to be done by someone who healed on the Sabbath was a threat to their beliefs. We have to get past the noise of our experiences and thoughts. Many times when we’re first saved, everything is black and white in our opinions of how we see things. We have to get past our experiences of how we perceive and look at things. We may think “I know how this should be.” We need to get to the place where we say, “Lord help me to see this like you want me to see it.” It’s most important what God thinks, not our opinions of how we see things. Sometimes what we want to see will overpower what God wants us to see.
John 9:10-16 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
John 9:27-29 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
John 9:34 They answered…him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
The Pharisees realized Jesus was talking about them being blind.
John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Samuel went to anoint the future king. Samuel thought it must be Eliab based on what he saw. God said don’t look at his height or outward appearance. We can’t place family or friends on a pedestal above where God wants them to be.
I Samuel 16:6-7 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
The rain falls on the just and the unjust. People’s decisions affect what happens in their lives. We have to seek God so we can see what God wants us to see. Our connection with God brings unity in how God wants us to see. The complexity of what God created is amazing! What we know is very small in comparison. We can be ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth like some (II Timothy 3:7). The Israelites had the ark of God but he told them to handle it a certain way. They were carrying it on an ox cart so it started to tip over. God said to carry it with staves that went through it so it wouldn’t tip over. How are we carrying the truth we have? Knowledge isn’t everything. The truth has to be handled like God says. Knowledge doesn’t work as it should unless God can direct us like he wants.
Ecclesiates 9:1-3 So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them. All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.
Supposition or assumptions in our seeing is where people suppose things based on actions we’ve seen before. On the island of Mileta Paul was gathering sticks to make a fire when he was bit by a poisonous viper. The people that saw it thought he must be a murderer who wasn’t supposed to live. When Paul didn’t die, their thoughts swung the other direction and they thought he was a god. We can’t think we understand things all the time because we don’t know everything. Sometimes we make assumptions based on someone’s actions but we don’t know the person’s story.
Act 28:3-6 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw…they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
Have we learned too much to be able to hear? Paul was showing those at Rome about the kingdom of God in the writings of the prophets and by what Jesus had done. He was telling how Christ had come as prophesied.
Acts 28:23-27 And…there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets …And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Sometimes people revert to the past and the rules instead of being led by the Spirit of God. We have to be careful to be open to hearing God talk to us and directing us.
Galatians 3:1-2 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Sometimes we only hear what we want to hear, so we’re not open to hearing what God wants to say to us. We can set up a structure for how we build that is based on our own experience and what we want (turned to fables). We need to keep open to the Spirit of God showing us how to think about things, to behave, and how he wants us to live.