Open my eyes
eyes that I may see
(the wonderful things in your law)
“ 18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.”
I want to think about the next in our series of
senses – Sight.
would like to start with a little example that I would like a volunteer to help
If anyone else wants to try
this at the same time please feel free to try it.
To start with I want you to
close your eyes.
Now when you open them I’m
going to ask you to look at and identify everything in this room that is red.
I’m going to give you 3 seconds to do that, after which I want you to close
Ok so look now.
And close them again.
So ...........tell me what
red items are in the room.
Now keeping your eyes closed
tell me what blue items are in the room?
Okay you can open your eyes
You notice how, because you
weren’t looking for blue items you didn’t see and remember any of them.
This is what the world of
psychology calls filtering. We all do it every day of our lives. We see what we
want to see and what our character and life experiences have taught us to see.
For example I am an electrical engineer and when I go into a room, the
electrical engineer in me is automatically looking at the lights, the power sockets
etc. Whereas when my wife Julia enters
the same room she will immediately be more interested in look at the people in
22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a
blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by
the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes
and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking
more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his
sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him
home, saying, "Don't go into the village."
Not only is this an amazing
miracle, it’s also a very good demonstration of the complete power of God. When
the blind man was healed the first time, Jesus asks him what he sees. The blind
man’s response is that he sees people looking like trees walking around. He was
filtering what he saw with the experiences he knew as someone who was blind. After
Jesus first touched his eyes he could see people that looked like what trees
must have felt like, a tall column. When Jesus touched his eyes again we read
that his eyes were opened, his sight was restored and he saw everything
clearly. When Jesus touched the man’s eyes the second time, this time he was
healing his mind and gave him the knowledge to interpret his sight.
This is something that the
medical world can’t do. If medical science comes up with a way of giving sight
to someone who is born blind, what they won’t be able to do is give them all
experience of a lifetime to interpret what they see. This miracle therefore
demonstrates that when someone was healed by Jesus, it wasn’t like healers who
you may see today who claim to heal people. People who were healed by Jesus
went away completely restored and he healed both their body and their mind instantly.
However the reason that I
decided we should look at this parable is because of its example of the filters
that can be on our eyes. The filters that we use on our sight either
consciously or unconsciously can act either positively or negatively. The blind
man didn’t have a choice about the filter on his eyes after Jesus touched him
the first time. He had no knowledge of the visual difference between people and
Filters are really just like
looking through binoculars. For example on this slide if we just believed what
we saw through the binoculars on this screen we would believe that cats are
scared of mice.
However if we remove the
binoculars and see clearly, actually we realise that cats are actually scared
The majority of our visual
filters however are influenced by our beliefs.
For example if you believe
that all young people these days are lazy good for nothings who just hang
around on street corners and cause problems, then that’s what you will be
looking for whenever you see young people. When you go out on the streets you
will be looking for the young people who cause trouble, the young people who
fit your image of young people and you will remember the examples you see that
fit your beliefs. Likewise because of the way your beliefs filter what you see,
you may walk past a young person helping an old lady with her shopping and not
This is a similar concept to
what we spoke about in our first session, the people who Jesus compared to see
that fell on the path. These people don’t want to hear and understand God’s
word so they ignore it.
So as Christians what filter
should we have for our eyes?
31"When the Son of Man comes
in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in
heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him and he
will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep
from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats
on his left.
King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father;
take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the
world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was
thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me
in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked
after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or
thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a
stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When
did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of
these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the
eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was
hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to
drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed
clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not
look after me.'
also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or
needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of
these, you did not do for me.'
they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal
The king Jesus is talking
about here is himself. Jesus is telling us quite clearly that when we see
somebody in need, we should be treating them as we would Christ. As though we
are seeing them through a filter.
2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author
and perfecter of our faith, who for the
joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at
the right hand of the throne of God.
Let us fix our eyes on
Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. As Christians we are followers of
Christ. Christ is the reason for our salvation. So his is the author of our
faith. Jesus in the way he lived his life was the perfect example of how to
live a Godly life of faith. So he is also the perfecter of our faith.
With our eyes fixed on
Jesus, we should be trying to see the world through the eyes of Christ. When we
see people in need, we should help them in whatever way we can, like Christ
John 4:31-38 (New
31Meanwhile his disciples
urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32But he said to them,
"I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
33Then his disciples said to
each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
34"My food," said
Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do
you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for
harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he
harvests the crop for eternal life,
so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the
saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap
what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have
reaped the benefits of their labour."
In this incident the
disciples did not have their thoughts focused on the same things as Jesus.
Jesus’ focus was on telling people the good news of the gospel. Open your eyes,
he says. The fields are ripe for harvest, the crop for eternal life. The filter
that Jesus had on his eyes was for doing the will of God, preaching the good
news and helping those he came into contact with.
Again as we fix our eyes on
Jesus and try to see the world as he saw the world, we should always be looking
to tell people about the gospel.
one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a
bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the
light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good,
your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is
full of darkness.
Let’s look at those two
verses in turn, first verse 33.
Our life as faithful
disciples is our light to the world. The way we act towards other people, the
way we talk to people about our faith is our light. What we know about the
gospel is a bright light that we should want to share with other people, so we
should act so that other people can see that light.
The eye is the lamp of the
body. This again comes back to the concept of filters. What our eyes see will
affect our whole bodies. If our eyes are always fixed on Jesus and we are
seeing the world as Jesus would, then we will be filling our bodies with good
things and our hearts and mind will be good and in turn our light will be good
and shine brightly. If we filter our eye sight to see only bad and sinful
things then those things will fill our minds and our hearts.
The apostle Paul summarises
this nicely in his letter to the Philippians
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
we said in our last talk, if we focus on the troubles of this life, money, jobs
etc, it doesn’t help us. What will help us to develop as Christians and resist
the weeds that can come up and choke us is to develop our relationship with God
through prayer. And to focus our thoughts on the things of God. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things.
we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are
being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what
is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is
unseen is eternal.
Again Paul reminds us that
these things of this life are only temporary and therefore we shouldn’t waste
our time concentrating on them. By fixing our eyes on what is unseen Paul means
that we should are looking focusing on the example Jesus set us and looking forward
to the glory of eternal life that God has set aside for us.
This is why our faith is so
important. We must be able to focus on the Lord Jesus even though none of us
has ever seen him. He is our example. Jesus himself looked forwards beyond his immediate suffering when he was
enduring the cross, as we read in Hebrews.
for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.