“Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things
“Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.” Luke 10:23-23
There have been many times when reading the gospels of the New Testament that I have longed to be in the place of Peter or John or another of the disciples. Think of it; to walk with Jesus when He was on Earth. To hear His sermons firsthand and to observe the many miracles. To be in the nearest proximity possible to God Himself. What a rich blessing! How very honored were the disciples. Our text for today records the words of Jesus to those disciples telling them as much. Yes, how often I have longed to be in their shoes but upon a little reflection I have seen how very blessed I am as a believer in Christ in the 21st century.
The Old Testament prophets and kings who sought the Lord were not able to see the Messiah as were the disciples who followed Him. In this sense the 12 had a very high privilege. Peter would write that even the angels themselves longed to look into the things the prophets wrote but didn’t fully understand (see 1 Peter 1:12). Christ pointed out to His closest followers that they were deeply favored of God because they saw and heard what they did, even though they themselves didn’t fully understand or appreciate it until the Lord ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit came down to enlighten them. By contrast, we who live today have so much more than the disciples had if we begin to think about it.
We have the New Testament, completed and translated into our own language, and available to anyone in multiple forms. We have centuries of church history and biblical scholarship to help us understand the mysteries and histories of the Bible. The church is present in almost every locality. Christian radio, literature, commentaries and schools enable anyone to learn more about the Savior and our great God who loved us so. Better than all of this is the indwelling Holy Spirit; our teacher, comforter, guide and strength in every situation. No people in history have had as much of the blessings of Christ than we have today. There is not a soul who cannot, if he truly wants to, get very near to Christ and grow deep in the knowledge of Him and in his relationship to Him. Though you cannot see Him with your eyes or hear Him with your ears you can pick up your Bible anytime and read and read and read again the stories of Jesus. As a hymn writer once penned, “Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear. Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here.”
The Bible speaks of the rich blessing of seeing and hearing Christ. That blessing is yours for the seeking. Open up your Bible, see, hear and be blessed.
Bruce MacInnes is the senior pastor of Turner’s Chapel in Sanford