By Pastor Chad Adelmund   Church of Promise, Buckingham

You Have To See It / To Believe It

“The only thing worse than being blind, is having sight but no vision” ~Helen Keller

The quote states that while she is not happy with being unable to see, she feels it is better than being able to see, but not being able to imagine, to plan, to think beyond our small physical existence.

Here’s an example: There were three bricklayers working beside each other on a wall. Someone came up to the first one and said, “What are you doing”
“What’s it look like I am doing?” he replied sarcastically, “I am laying bricks!” The man asked the next guy on the wall what he was doing. He said, “Can’t you see what I am doing? I am building a wall.” Then the last man was asked what he was doing. He exclaimed, “I am building a great cathedral for God!”

The first two men could only see the job in front of them, the third man had vision of a beautiful cathedral he was building for God.

The Crowd
Today’s scripture is: Luke 18:35-43 (NIV). Here were people with Jesus, listening and taking it all in. In the right place, but when it came to helping out a blind man, they told him to shut up. They are just like the two brick layers in the story, only understanding what was going on at that moment right in front of them. They had all heard Jesus speak on serving and helping and blessing the blind, but they didn’t get it. Physically, they could see, but spiritually they were as blind as the beggar. They failed to understand this opportunity that was right in front of them.

Does that represent what the church does sometimes? They told the blind man Jesus wouldn’t have time for him. Spiritually, this crowd was blind and without faith. Do we get caught up in this blind crowd? We wave at the people and say look at me. I’m a Christian, walking with the King!! As we mock or ignore those who need Him most?

The beggar, Bartimaeus, could physically see nothing, but he had faith that Jesus could heal him. He had the same vision as the last brick layer. He could see what they couldn’t. The Son of God, the Son of David, The Messiah was more than a king who would defeat the Romans and physically set the people free.

Going back to the quote, “Better to be blind and to see with your heart.” This is the eternal vision of a believer. You have to see it! Transformation, surrender, love for other, love for yourself knowing you are forgiven and didn’t deserve it, an eternal gratefulness.

Sight and Vision
Sight sees the physical predicament or mess, but vision sees the spiritual potential. We all struggle in this life, but how much different is the struggle of a person with sight versus a person with vision?

My son, Kody, went through boot camp: My son was yelled and beaten down physically and mentally, but only temporarily. His vision of the future had given his present physical discomfort meaning and purpose. Why? He is enduring the “cross” so to speak, because of the joy on the other side of it. He realizes that boot camp is preparing him for a greater destiny. His vision of the future is giving his present physical discomfort meaning and purpose. Temporary sacrifices here in this temporary place are worth the eternal reward.

Back to the scripture: The crowd had sight: Your eyes can only see physical reality, limited to seeing physical things. Our eyeballs are completely useless when it comes to perceiving spiritual reality. Sight is reading about heaven and reading about how we have a place there.

Bartimaeus, had vision. Vision is the spiritual reality all around us and the assurance of things eternal. It is just as real, only we can’t see it. Vision is KNOWING we already have a place in heaven and we will live there forever. That this world is not our home and we are in the world temporarily. Once we surrender our lives to Jesus we became citizens of Heaven and His Spirit now lives in and through us. That is where eternal vision comes from. The Holy Spirit.

Paul says again in 2 Corinthians 4:18, so 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.

So what are you looking at? Do you “set your affection on things above,” or on “things of the earth?”