Matters of Faith: CAN YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Matthew 13:13-16 (CEV)

I use stories when I speak to them because when they look, they cannot see, and when they listen, they cannot hear or understand. 14 So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said, “These people will listen and listen, but never understand. They will look and look, but never see. 15 All of them have stubborn minds! Their ears are stopped up, and their eyes are covered. They cannot see or hear or understand. If they could, they would turn to me, and I would heal them.” 16 But God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear!

Not long ago, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye racing across the floor. I turned to see if I what I ‘thought’ I saw was actually what I saw. It happened again! I turned and looked but saw nothing. After a few minutes of this, I realized that there was nothing racing across the floor, nothing was flying through the air; I had developed a ‘floater’ in my eye.

An eye floater is described by Healthery as “clumps or specks of undissolved vitreous gel material floating in the dissolved gel-like fluid (vitreous) in the back of the eye, which cast shadows on the retina when light enters the eye.” In other words, I saw shadows and spots that appear to be passing in front of my eye.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is talking to a large group of people who had gathered to hear Him speak. They were so numerous that he had to sit on a boat on Lake Galilee so that they could hear Him. He told them stories in parables (earthly stories with heavenly meaning), ending by saying, “If you have ears, pay attention” (v. 9). When He returned to shore, His disciples asked why He spoke to them in parables. Jesus responded that He was fulfilling the prophetic word of Isaiah, giving them keys to the kingdom (of heaven). 

Jesus was unlocking the mysteries of eternal life. Then He says that the people hear but refuse to listen, so they will never understand, they will look, but will never see. He says that they do this because they are stubborn and refuse to do either. Had they heard and had they seen Him, they would be healed. He tells them that many good people, even prophets came before them. They were eager to see and to hear what the disciples saw and heard, but did not. The disciples have been blessed with God’s undeserved favor. They have eyes that see and ears that hear. That should inspire us to likewise turn to Him and to put ourselves in a place where we can see, and where we can hear.

It’s always our decision whether we are going to understand what we are hearing and to see what we are looking at. Christ taught the multitude by telling stories, but they chose not to see Him as the Messiah and chose not to understand what He was saying. His Disciples, on the other hand, were blessed because they chose to see and to hear Him. It was the story that he told the multitudes that got His Disciple’s attention, but it was their decision that resulted in their blessing. We also must decide if we are going to see and to hear. Maybe my story of floaters has helped. But whatever your reason may be, please choose wisely. There is a blessing in seeing and a blessing in hearing.

Can you see what I see?

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), and author of Matters of Faith: The Book. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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