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Seeing is Not Believing, But Believing is Seeing

The old saying “Seeing is believing” is disproved every time a magician tricks his audience into seeing what is not true. He cuts the lady in half; we see it happen, but fortunately she is quite well and all in one piece.

Many people believe things that they have seen are true when they are not, and many times people do not believe what is true. Our eyes play tricks on us. Magicians are expert in deceiving us into seeing things that are not true. We cannot depend on what we see. Even though the horizon looks like a flat line, the earth is not flat as most folks thought at one time — which shows that just because everyone believes something is true does not make it so.

How then are we to know what to believe? Sometimes things we have not seen are true although we have never seen them. Jesus specifically blesses those who have never seen him and yet believe on him. John tells us about a conversation between Jesus and Thomas where Jesus tells Thomas, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Certainly none of us have ever seen the Lord, but we believe in him. Many who did see him did not believe, so seeing was not believing for them. Even Saul of Tarsus, who thought that he was a real student of the Word of God, did not believe in Jesus and was out to punish those who did believe in him. It was not until the Lord spoke to him from heaven and struck him blind that he finally believed. Then he saw, even though he was temporarily blind.

This same man, now the beloved apostle Paul, later wrote to us, saying that the things which we can see are all temporary, while things which are not seen are eternal. We need to get, as it were, spiritual glasses in order to believe in the unseen. The Kingdom of God is coming and there is a time when every eye shall see him, but right now, we only see it through the eye of faith. Our faith is fed by reading about it in the Bible.

So many who saw Jesus when he walked the dusty paths of Israel did not believe in him even though they saw the miracles that he performed. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees heard him and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

The very last time Jesus spoke to the multitude, “there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast.” They came to Philip with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Thankfully they saw and heard him in this, his final discourse. Yet, shortly thereafter, “When he had finished speak-ing, Jesus left and hid himself from them. Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.”

It is so important for us to see what they did not see and believe what they did not believe. Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Through the eye of faith we do see Jesus now, and we long for the time soon to come, described by John: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Robert J. Lloyd