July 23, 2017

Open Eyes That They May See

Luke 18:31-34 (NASB)

Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

In this text Jesus tells His disciples all that is about to take place. Jesus will go to Jerusalem, He will be beaten, scourged, die, and rise from the dead “just as the prophets said.” But the disciples understood none of these things. The meaning was hidden from them and they did not comprehend the things said.

The first 17 OT books are historical, 5 are poetical, and the last 17 are prophetical (Isaiah to Malachi). The prophets and the psalmists gave two general categories of Messianic prophecies:

  1. Messianic prophecies related to the greatness and majesty of the Messiah (see Psalm 2).
  2. Messianic prophecies related to the suffering and humiliation of the Messiah (see Psalm 22).

Everything that the Son of Man suffered was revealed in “the prophets” – the 17 OT prophetical books.

  1. The disciples didn’t see the significance of the sufferings of Christ.
    These were men who went every Sabbath to the synagogue and heard the prophets read to them. As Jesus explained how He must be beaten, die, and rise again. They had no wonder or awe of this. Romans 5:8 - “God showed His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
    1. The disciples understood none of these things – like a foreign language (though it wasn’t).
      They expected a temporal prince and a conqueror (as the prophets predicted) and not suffering. Remember this: We too lose sight of the Conquering Christ in the midst of our personal suffering.
    2. The disciples had the meaning hidden from them.
      This is a passive statement. Something or someone has “hidden” this truth of Christ from them. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (II Corinthians 4:4).
    3. The disciples did not comprehend the things said.
      This summary statement simply means there was no personal “laying hold of” the truth.

  2. There is a blindness in the minds of people today regarding Christ.
    “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that all are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but became futile in their speculations, their hearts darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20-22).
    1. Notice, this blindness is both active and passive – “They did not honor God, and their hearts became darkened.” Spiritual darkness is both a decision and a disease; deserved and delivered.
    2. Spiritual blindness is the source of all human decay – “If your eye (of understanding) is bad, your whole body (life) is full of darkness” (Matthew 6:23).

  3. There is a cure for spiritual blindness that is a direct result of God’s mercy.
    Maybe you know or love someone who is blinded to the beauty of Christ’s death and resurrection.
    1. Spiritual blindness is a disease that can be cured by God Himself.
      “For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).
    2. Prayer for the blind is the scheduling of an appointment with God Himself.
      “Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw” (II Kings 6:17). When’s the last time you prayed like this?
    3. When a person “turns to the Lord,” the veil of blindness is removed.
      “Whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (II Corinthians 3:16).

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.