What does it mean to SEE through eyes of faith? In CS Lewis’ final book in his Narnia series, he describes a scene that illustrates this point well I think.
The children are all in a barn, and some of them can see Narnia, but all the dwarf can see is the walls of the barn. The children were looking through eyes of faith, but the dwarf was only looking for what he thought was real.
How often is our vision limited by what we believe, instead of viewing life through eyes that can see Narnia.
The Passage: Luke 4:14-31
- Compare Luke 4:14 with Luke 4:28. How was the response in Nazareth different than other places? Why do you think that is?
- Compare Luke 4:17-19 with Isaiah 61:1-3 Why do you think Jesus stopped half way through verse 2? What was Jesus first coming for?
- What was notable about the 2 illustrations Jesus uses in Luke 4:25-27? What do you think Jesus was telling the people of Nazareth?
- Based on their reaction in Luke 4:28-30 what conclusions can you draw about what they understood Jesus to say?
- Compare the response of the people in Nazareth with the royal official’s response in John 4:43-53. What was missing in Nazareth?
Jesus and his disciples left Cana and headed to Nazareth. The distance from Cana to Nazareth is about 6 KM or 3 3/4 miles.
Jesus has been teaching in and around Galilee. In the last passage we studied (John 4:46-54) Jesus was in Cana.
When Jesus would enter a city, he would always go to the synagogue on the Sabbath.
When Jesus came back to Nazareth, the town where he had grown up, he followed his custom and went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.
Jesus was participating in the usual custom in the synagogue. Being a visiting Rabbi, he was asked to participate by reading an assigned portion, and sharing some thoughts. The portion he was assigned was Isaiah 61:1-3.
This passage was known to be a Messianic prophecy. The custom was to read a minimum of 3 verses. Jesus only read half of the required passage. The Rabbis always read the scripture standing, but sat to teach. Jesus sat down and said, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing!”
They all knew exactly what he was saying. He was claiming to be the Messiah!
“But, this couldn’t be! This is Jesus! Mary and Joseph’s son. We know his brothers, and his sisters! We watched him grow up right here. I would know what the Messiah would look like, and let me tell you, that Jesus is not him!”
They saw him, but they did not believe him. (Luke 4:28-30)
In our last study (John 4:43-53) we saw Jesus lead a man, a gentile mind you, from faith that required sight, to a faith based on the Word of God.
The people of Nazareth had seen Jesus grow up. They knew his family, his parents, his siblings. They watched him grow since he was a child. But they never saw him through the eyes of faith.
Remember what scripture said of Mary?When the shepherds came in Luke 2 and worshipped Jesus in the manger. it says, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) That is the response of faith. Mary believed God first, then saw through eyes of faith!
The people of Nazareth could not see Jesus through eyes of faith, they could only see him through human eyes.
Jesus longed for them to have eyes of faith. That was the very reason He came, to be the light revealing God to them, the Word of God in the flesh, displaying, showing, what God was really like. But they couldn’t see it. They were too earthly minded to see through heavenly eyes.
How is your sight today? Do you expect God to show you, before you believe? Heb 11:1 says, “Faith is the expectation of what we cannot see!” Faith comes first, then seeing.
What are the truths that you struggle with believing because you just can’t see how they can be true?
- Your position in Christ (2 Cor 5:21) God sees you as completely righteous!
- Partakers of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)
- Have received EVERYTHING you need to live pleasing to God, IN CHRIST (2 Peter 1:3; Eph 1:3)
How often do you see God at work in you and around you? Jesus was not able to do many miracles because of their lack of faith. Even though Jesus had grown up among them, they did not see him through eyes of faith. Therefore they could not see God in Him. He was the creator of the universe, the light displaying the glory of God, the Word of God in living flesh, but they couldn’t see it, therefore they did not see God at work through Him.
God wants you to have NEW EYES, eyes of faith!