10/12/M – Believing and Seeing

2 Samuel 2:12-3:5; John 12:37-50; Psalms 118:27-29; Proverbs 25:9-10

NT: “Even though he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said: Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? This is why they were unable to believe, because Isaiah also said: He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they would not see with their eyes or understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them… Jesus cried out, “The one who believes in me believes not in me, but in him who sent me. And the one who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me would not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and doesn’t receive my sayings has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a command to say everything I have said. I know that his command is eternal life. So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me.”” (‭‭John‬ ‭12:37-40, 44-50‬ ‭CSB)

John the apostle, in a brief moment of commentary, reminded the readers of his gospel that Jesus’ rejection was prophesied by Isaiah of old… that the message of the Messiah would be difficult for people to accept and believe… that people’s spiritual eyes would be blinded by the hardness of their hearts, and that they would not understand nor recognize the Messiah’s coming. As John pointed out, seeing is not always believing. Many of the people who were around Jesus saw many wonderful and amazing signs, yet they did not believe. The truth is that believing leads to seeing. To fully see and understand Who Jesus is, one must first come to the point of believing… and that requires faith and humility. Jesus came as light to the entire world, but it is only those who believe who are rescued out of darkness and given the ability to see. Jesus doesn’t condemn those who reject Him… but the absolute truth of His words will condemn them later as they become painfully aware of their rejection of the truth for a lie. Faith comes by hearing the word of the Lord… so in order to come into the light where we can see and understand clearly, we must first hear the Word of God and then place our faith in and on the Word of God. Once we believe, then the beauty of God’s Kingdom and His abundant and everlasting life will be opened to us.

Psalms: “The Lord is God and has given us light. Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give you thanks. You are my God; I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭118:27-29‬ ‭CSB)

An interesting fact about sacrifices is that sacrifices were usually slaughtered and their blood drained out before they were placed on the altar. The only reason you would need to bind a sacrifice to the altar was if the sacrifice was still alive. Christ, our Light and our Salvation, was bound to the cross and both His body and His blood were offered as the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Then, we are called in Romans 12, to present our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord, where we die to our sin and selfish ambition and offer our lives as instruments of righteousness to God in worship. The stone that the builder rejected has become our chief cornerstone. He came as Light to the world so that we would not be left in darkness, but would be allowed to see by faith. That was accomplished as He allowed His life to be bound to the altar. We now, as people who believe in Him, say to Him, “You are my God,” as we offer our lives in faithful service to our Lord, Savior, and Christ.

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