January 18

Bible Reading: Matthew 13

Helen Keller was only two years old when an illness struck her blind and deaf.  Unable to communicate with the outside world, her life was filled with a hopeless despair so great that one can only imagine.  Miss Anne Sullivan was brought to assist her and worked patiently to break through the darkness.  One day she and “Teacher”—as Helen always called her—went to the outdoor pump.  Miss Sullivan started to draw water and put Helen’s hand under the spout.  As the cool water gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other hand the word “w-a-t-e-r” first slowly, then rapidly.  Suddenly, the signals had meaning in Helen’s mind.  She knew that “water” meant the wonderful cool substance flowing over her hand.  Quickly, she stopped and touched the earth and demanded its letter name and by nightfall she had learned 30 words.  Helen later wrote of the experiences of that day: “As we continued to the house every object which I touched quivered with life.  That was because I saw everything with a strange, new sight that had come to me.  It would have been difficult to find a happier child than I was as I lay in my crib… and for the first time longed for a new day to come.”  Such is the spiritual experience of every newly born child of God when eyes and ears are opened to behold the Truth!

Matthew chapter 13 records several parables Jesus taught regarding the nature of the Kingdom.  The disciples asked him why he taught in parables, and Jesus explained (Matthew 13:10-17).  He told them that those having ears to hear would understand, but those without wouldn’t.  This was to fulfill what was prophesied by Isaiah: “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive” (Matthew 13:14; Isaiah 6:9).  “But blessed are your eyes,” he said to His disciples, “because they see, and your ears, because they hear” (Matthew 13:16).  The term “blessed” can otherwise be translated as “happy.”  What makes for happy eyes and ears?  Eyes that see and ears that hear!

Most do not understand the things of God.  “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14).  Most are blind to the truth: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  The context of our passage speaks to this.  The sower went out to sow, but more often than not, the seed fell on unfruitful soil (Matthew 13:3-9; 19-23).  Jesus spoke in parables, but most did not understand.  And even the prophets and righteous men of old were not privileged to see (ESV, “longed to see”), the truths that we as believers are now given to understand (Matthew 13:17).

The ability to comprehend truth is a privilege that has been granted to you by God.  Remember the day when the Spirit first opened your eyes to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:6)!  Words that had previously lacked meaning and import were made precious (1 Corinthians 2:12).  A longing for the truth was Spirit-borne into your heart (1 Peter 2:2)!  How glorious the day when your eyes and ears were made happy by God!  “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!”

You have happy eyes and ears!  You’ve been privileged in a way that most on earth are not.  Others long for Bibles, you have many.  Other believers around the world meet in secret and risk persecution and arrest to meet together, you have the freedom to openly gather to fellowship and hear God’s word.  Don’t take for granted that which God has so graciously given.  Happy eyes are made happier still as they are fixed upon the Savior (Hebrews 12:2).  Happy ears rejoice to hear Him speak through His Word (John 10:27; Colossians 3:16).  He has many more things to show you and to tell you about (1 Corinthians 2:9).  Be glad for your Spirit-borne keen sight and good hearing!

How blessed the day when God worked a miracle to open your eyes and ears to the Truth!  Happy eyes and ears are those that keep on looking and listening to hear from God in His Word.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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