(Go To Meeting)

Byron Norrod—August 26, 2022

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Let's begin in Gen. 16. Tonight we're going to be looking at several stories, mostly, most all from the Bible. If I can squeeze one in later that's not in the Bible, and I'll do that. But all these stories will be from the Bible.

These stories refer to how God has opened people's eyes and even animals' eyes.

We're going to look at how God could open our eyes, as well, or IF He has opened our eyes spiritually! That's the key thing. We need to make sure that we have our eyes open spiritually so we can see, understand and obey His voice!

Sarai & Hagar

That's what this story in Gen. 16 is about. It's about Abram and Sarai. They were married but not having any children, so Sarai offered her handmaid.

Genesis 16:4: "And he [Abram] went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when Hagar saw that she had conceived…"

Did she see her conception within her womb? No! But she realized it! So, this is an awareness or mental awakening!

"…she looked upon her mistress with contempt. And Sarai said to Abram, 'My wrong be upon you. I have given my maidservant into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes…'" (vs 4-5).

There's a lot of work that God does here using the eyes as understanding or knowing! But it even goes much further; it goes spiritually, doesn't it?

"…The LORD judge between me and you" (v 5).

This word judge has a peculiar meaning. It actually means to uphold or champion the cause! So, it wasn't like Sarai was asking God to:

Judge between me and Abram and punish my husband, because the handmaid doesn't like me now.
It wasn't that! It was:
Lord, champion my cause. I've done everything right and help me in this.

So, God did!

Verse 6: "But Abram said to Sarai, 'Behold, your maidservant is in your hand. Do to her as it pleases you.' And Sarai dealt harshly with her… [she wasn't converted, yet] …and she [Hagar] fled from her [Sarai's] presence. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur. And he said, 'Hagar, Sarai's maidservant, where did you come from? And where will you go?' And she said, 'I flee from the presence of my mistress Sarai.'" (vs 6-8).

I've just had it up to here; I can't take it anymore!

Verse 9: "And the angel of the LORD said to her, 'Return to your mistress and submit yourself under her hands.' And the angel of the LORD said to her, 'I will multiply your seed exceedingly, so that they shall not be numbered for multitude.' And the angel of the LORD said to her, 'Behold… [look, come see, or understand this] …you are with child, and shall bear a son. And you shall call his name Ishmael because the LORD has heard your affliction. And he will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. And he shall live in the presence of all his brothers'" (vs 9-12).

Verse 13: "And she called the name of the LORD Who had spoken to her. You are a God of Seeing! For she said, 'Even here have I seen Him that sees me?'

Could she, in her physical vision be able to see the angel of the Lord? The spiritual essence of the individual who appeared to her? No, she would not be able to! So, God had to open her eyes and allowed her to see something that was not within her purview. Then she recognized that the Lord God actually saw her and that He was a God of seeing, and that 'I have even seen the God Who sees me!' This raised her to a new, higher, level.

Verse 14: Therefore, the well… [where she was found] …was called The Well of the Living One Seeing Me. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered."

There's a lot of seeing, beholding, knowing. We have to understand what God is trying to tell us. This is the second time that Hagar saw the angel of the Lord:

Genesis 21:17: "And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of the heavens, and said to her, 'What ails you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.'"

She had already received the promise that Ishmael would be the 'father of many'!

Verse 18: "'Rise up, lift up the boy and hold him up with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.'"

The situation here was that she had given up all hope. Sarah had sent her away and she's in the desert and sent her baby boy over under a bush so she didn't have to see him die. She went away and the baby wouldn't see her die, because they were thirsting to death. They were starving for water!

Verse 19: "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water…"

  • Was it already there, and God was just now opening her eyes so that she could see it?


  • Did God just create the well and then her eyes could see what He had just made?


  • Had it been obfuscated or hidden from her view and she not been able to see it until God opened her eyes?

That's what I think! I think it was there all the time, but God kind of clouded her eyes and there was a blindness that imparted to her to see whether she was going to trust Him or not. He opened Hagar's eyes to see a well.

Abraham & Isaac

Genesis 22:9: "And he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood, upon the altar. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called to him from the heavens and said, 'Abraham! Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Do not lay your hand upon the lad, nor do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me'" (vs 9-12).

Is this the angel of the Lord talking. We're going to understand the word for angel in just a little bit.

Verse 13: "And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked…"

Fred said many times that he thinks that God created the ram and had his horns caught in the thicket right then. Entirely possible. Or it could have been there all along just waiting for the time when God removed the veil so that He could show Abraham. God already had it in the wings waiting, if Abraham chose correctly! I don't know!

"…and behold, behind him a ram was entangled in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide; so that it is said until this day, 'In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.' And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time" (vs 13-15).

Balak & Balaam & Balaam's Ass

Sometimes I feel like I work for Balaam and I'm on that donkey! Sometimes it gets a little bit rough out there! This story is pretty self-evident.

This is a humorous story and so amazing that God's sense of humor comes out so clearly! That Balaam is so oblivious when the donkey talks to him! He's not surprised by that at all, it seems.

Numbers 22:20: "And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, 'If the men come to call you, rise up, go with them. But only the word which I shall say to you, that you shall do.' And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his donkey, and went with the rulers of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went…." (vs 20-22).

Michael Heiss has explained this. There are two meanings of go with or went and you can accompany with them on their way to go with them. But he went with them in spirit and was wanting to with him to try to help them against Israel. But God's anger was kindled!

"…And the angel of the LORD stood in the way as an enemy against him. And as he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants with him, then the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way…" (vs 22-23).

How could the donkey see this unless God opened the donkey's eyes to see something spiritual, He's giving a spiritual attribute to a mere animal subordinate to the human! Amazing!

Verse 23: "Then the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her back into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed herself into the wall and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. And he struck her again. And the angel of the LORD went further and stood in a narrow place…" (vs 23-26). This should remind us Matt. 7!

"…where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey…" (vs 26-28).

This humanization! This is like Mickey Mouse talking! But this is reality, because God created this very specific thing that was so highly unusual, which had not happened since the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

"…and she… [the donkey] …said to Balaam, 'What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?' And Balaam said to the donkey…" (vs 28-29).

Do you think that Balaam's eyes were shielded? I think so! Balaam responded to the donkey!

"…'Because you have mocked me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you.'  And the donkey said to Balaam…" (vs 29-30) Now the donkey is reasoning with Balaam!

Not only is the donkey speaking, not only did he have spiritual sight, but now he's reasoning with a prophet of God.

"…'Am I not your donkey upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours to this day? Was I ever known to do so to you?' And he said, 'No.'" (v 30).

Verse 31: "Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam… [His eyes were closed, even though he could see the donkey, he couldn't see the spiritual] …and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand. And he bowed down his head and fell on his face. And the angel of the LORD said to him, 'Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Behold, I came out to withstand you because your way is perverse before me'" (vs 31-32).

Verse 34: And Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, 'I have sinned…'"

Verse 35: "And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, 'Go with the men. But only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak.'…."

You will notice those are the same words the Lord gave in v 20 when God came to Balaam at night and said, "…'If the men come to call you, rise up, go with them. But only the word which I shall say to you, that you shall do.'"

The same words but it was God Who came to Balaam at night and now it's the angel of the Lord in v 35.

Allow me to possibly open your eyes just a little bit to some understanding. Perhaps you already know this, and that's fine and good.

The Hebrew word for angel—of the Lord—is 'malak' and simply means messenger. So, when we see the messenger of the Lord talking to Hagar, Abraham and Balaam, it entirely possible that the messenger of El Elyon is the second God of the Old Testament Jesus Christ, the Lord, Yahweh!

So, that's a really interesting concept because now we can see that when it says angel of the Lord it may possibly actually be talking about the messenger of God the Father sending Jesus Christ! Thus it could be the same messenger in v 20 who was God talking to them.

What true is that God can open our mind to things of understanding depth, to help us to grasp things that are so profound in this life. Just recently, in the past two weeks, I found something and I said, 'Whoa! I've never taken it that way before.'

So, I'm working on a message for the future—this is just a teaser—where it changes everything as far as how we look at the Kingdom of God! For me, maybe not you.

There are so many stories in the Bible that we can see where God is telling us that He's opening the minds of His servants or non-servants, people that He's using.


In 2-Kings 6 is Elisha's servant and he was scared. The king was wanting to ambush the king of Israel, so he laid in wait and Elisha knew about it and God told him and he sent word to the king not to pass by that way. The other king who was doing the ambushing was all ticked off and mad and said, 'Who spilled the beans? There's a traitor in our camp! Who's the mole? Let's find him!'

Someone said, 'No, my lord, it's not that at all! It's the prophet Elisha; he knows! He knows every word you say in secret in your bedroom.'

2-Kings 6:14: 'And he sent there horses and chariots and a great army. And they came by night and surrounded the city. And the servant of the man of God arose early and went out. And, behold, an army surrounded the city, and horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, 'Alas, my master! What shall we do?'" (vs 14-15).

I just imagine the cartoon where the guy is chewing his fingernails and they're flying off like woodchips from a buzz-saw. What are we going to do?

Verse 16: "And he answered, 'Do not fear, for those with us are more than those with them.'"

Verse 17: "And Elisha prayed and said, 'I pray You, LORD, open his eyes so that he may see.'…."

That's it! doesn't take much, we just have to have the intent and God working with us to do His will. What God was doing was training Gehazi to be the next servant in line just as Elisha had been after Elijah.
"…And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (v 17).

There was no way that there was going to be any type of army penetrating this ball of fire surrounding Elisha, especially with this angelic hoard that was surrounding the valley. I think that put his mind at ease. The story doesn't end there, it continues because:

Verse 18: "And when the Syrians came down to him Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, 'I pray You, strike this people with blindness.'…."

Would God really honor that, blindness on to the person? Yes, He would!

"…And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said to them, 'This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.' But he led them to Samaria. And it came to pass when they came into Samaria, Elisha said, 'LORD, open the eyes of these men so that they may see.'…." (vs 18-20).

They have bows and arrows, swords and canons everything pointed at them, you name it. These guys are toast! But it was with a simple prayer that Elisha had the Lord close their eyes and then open them again.

The lesson in all this is that if we don't follow God, He may make us blind in the same way that He made the Syrians. They were going against God's servant, not trying to follow in the way. IF we don't follow God, He may blind us!

Jesus Christ

He may take away what vision He's already given to us. Would God do that? Let's see!

We will see that the disciples didn't understand Jesus' miracles! They saw the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000. When they saw Him walking on the water, and then He calmed the sea, they were amazed, but they still didn't get it! Why?

Mark 6:48: "And He [Jesus] saw them laboring in their rowing, because the wind was contrary to them. And about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed by them."

I think that's so funny! God has such a sense of humor! Here they are floating in a boat and having a rough time. Jesus starts walking on the water and it says that He's going to walk right by them just like it's an evening stroll. They're amazed that and what happens?

Verse 49: "But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was an apparition; and they cried out, because they all saw Him and were alarmed. And immediately He spoke to them, and said to them, 'Be of good courage; it isI. Do not fear'" (vs 49-50). Don't worry, be happy!

Verse 51: "Then He went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased. And they were amazed in themselves far beyond measure, and wondered." They didn't get it!

Verse 52: "For they did not understand the miracle of the loaves, because their hearts were hardened."

Their hard, stony, rocky hearts were hardened and it did not allow them to have their eyes opened. They couldn't see anything because of the stoniness, the rockiness of their hearts. Yet, God was working to open their minds!

Luke 24:45: "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures."

Opening their minds to understand is the same as opening their eyes to be able to see and understand spiritually. Something that they hadn't been able to see. It was the Scriptures with understanding! It's because they were obedient. We will see this.

Psalm 119:100: "I understand more than the ancients because I keep Your precepts."

  • obedience gives understanding
  • obedience opens our eyes spiritually

Luke 4 is so interesting. Jesus Christ was now beginning His ministry. He talked to the woman at the well and now He went into the synagogue and they handed Him the scroll and He read from Isa. 61. What's interesting is that that He added to the scroll. He added something that wasn't in Isa. 61.

Luke 4:16: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and stood up to read. And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written" (vs 16-17).

It's interesting because this is on the Sabbath and He's teaching them something very valuable, and He's beginning His ministry with these words; this is the quote from Isaiah:

Verse 18—Jesus speaking: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives…"

Right here He inserts something. He and God the Father inspired Isaiah to write what he wrote. Did They just not think of it and now during His ministry it's like 'I should add something.'

It's not like that! We will see that in Isa. 61 and see it in just a minute.

"…and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (vs 18-19).

Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the LORD…" (vs 1-2).

Where is the blind and recovering the sight of the blind? It's not here! We don't see what Jesus says or inspired Isaiah to write giving "…recovery of sight to the blind…"

The reason why He stopped right there in Luke 4:20: "And after rolling up the scroll and delivering it to the attendant, He sat down; and the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He began to say to them, 'Today, this Scripture is being fulfilled in your ears'" (vs 20-21).

They had to understand that there was something deep that was going on, because Jesus was claiming that the Spirit of the Lord was resting on Him and He was there to proclaim it.

But they didn't challenge Him on the Scripture. Here's why: the rest of this is the rest of His ministry is when He returns.

Isaiah 61:2: "To preach the acceptable year of the LORD…"

That's where He stopped, and now the second part of His ministry. Remember He was cutoff in the midst of the week. Now when He returns He will finish His ministry with this:

"…and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, giving to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning…"

That's yet to come! Has He not done that in our lives? My life was a pile of ash, and had no hope. What was I living for? What was my potential? Zilch! What was yours? God has opened my eyes and given me an understanding far beyond what I ever hoped for!

He's given me "…beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness…" (v 3).

I don't have to be weighted down! A ship doesn't sink because of the water around it; a ship sinks because of the water that's in it! So, what do we do? Don't let what's going on around us get into us! We have the hope of the Spirit; we don't want the world getting into us. We are keeping that water out, keeping it at bay! Keeping God's Spirit in our ship!

"'…so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified. And they will build the old wastes…. [tie in Isa. 58] … they will raise up the desolations of former times…." (vs 3-4).

This is talking us doing that in the Millennium. We will be the trees supporting the superstructure of all that is the Godhead. We will be honoring God in a manner by service to Him and the people whom He's bringing along during the Millennial reign.  What a beautiful thing!

"…And they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations" (v 4).

Isaiah 58:11: "And the LORD shall always guide you and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make your bones fat; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And those who come of you…[those are the ones that we're teaching, encouraging, helping, where we plant the seed] … shall build the old ruins… [the old ruined lives that were burnt out hunks of junk, ash heaps] …you shall raise up the foundations of many generations…" (vs 11-12).

All these people who suffered without knowing the hope of salvation, God or having a proper calling. We have that potential! Has God opened your eyes to see that. This is wonderful! I'm sure that He has opened your eyes spiritually so that you can see just the physical realm around you.

Our destination, our future, our hope, our zeal and passion for God and His Kingdom so that we can do this for Him and raise up these old wasted and ruined lives.

We can propagate the Gospel, plant the seeds, water the seeds and cause them to grow in our irrigated garden.

Isaiah 61:6: "But you shall be called the priests of the LORD; it will be said of you, 'The ministers of our God'…"

  • Are you not called to be a king?
  • Are you not called to be a priest?

You are called to be a minister of God! What an amazing potential! We can see that only with our spiritually opened eyes. Only the eyes that God's given to us, the spiritual eyes!

There are actually two places in Isa. 6 that's interesting for us to see.

Isaiah 6:1: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I… [Isaiah] …then saw… [with spiritual eyes] …the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple." His glorious robes filled the whole temple space!

Verse 2: "Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew." This is pretty amazing!

Verse 3: "And one cried to another, and said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.'"

This is Isaiah seeing, in vision, something that his mere mortal eyes could not see! Conversely, look at:

Verse 8: "And I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I [Isaiah] said, 'Here am I; send me!' And He said, 'Go, and tell this people, "You hear indeed, but do not understand; and you see indeed, but do not perceive"'" (vs 8-9)—because they were willfully closed!

Verse 10: "Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and return, and be healed."

This is quoted three times in the New Testament. I wanted to go to each one of them, because each one has something to add, but let's just go to:

John 12:35: "Then Jesus said to them, 'Yet, a little while the Light is with you…. [talking about Himself being the Light of the world] …Walk while you have the Light… [Jesus Christ] …so that the darkness will not overtake you….'"

Don't let the water of this world, the evil, bad, corrupt water—all the corruption that's everywhere around us—in! Keep your boat secure!

"'…For the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light… [talking about Himself] …believe in the Light, so that you may become the children of Light.' Jesus spoke these things and then departed from them and was in hiding." (vs 35-36).

Verse 38: "So that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled who said, 'Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this very reason they could not believe because again Isaiah said, 'He [God] has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I would heal them'" (vs 38-40).

There's not angels vs the devil fight in every man's head. Jesus is not hiding what Satan the devil is striving to do in losing or wining souls. God calls whom He wants and open the eyes of those whom He wants to see. God does the calling (John 6:44). We understand that Jesus works with them once the Father does the drawing. He opens our eyes so that we can see!

  • How has God opened your eyes?
  • What do you see spiritually?
  • What is it spiritually that we can see and perceived that we were not able to perceived before we were baptized and received God's Holy Spirit?

We will see that this is quoted again:

Acts 28:25: "…'Well did the Holy Spirit speak by Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, "Go to this people and say, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, but in no way perceive'"'" (vs 25-26).

  • you're not going to get it
  • you can't get it
  • God's not opening your mind so you can see it
  • He's not giving you the spiritual vision

Verse 27: "'For the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes… [willingly; willfully] …lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.'"

God doesn't want to give them the spiritual healing, yet! It's not their time! God is developing His Family and Jesus Christ is the First of the firstfruits. Then we will have the mass harvest. Who knows how many harvests He's going to have. It seems like there could be many harvests.

God closes people's eyes spiritually so they have spiritual blindness until He is ready to convert them. God allows deliberate blinding!

IF God has opened your eyes

  • Do you see?
  • What do you see?

IF God has opened my eyes

  • What do I see spiritually?
  • What can I see spiritually?

To confirm that God closes people's minds and deliberately causes blindness:

2-John 9: "Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ…

They have the doctrine, and they choose to not continue with the doctrine, rather they choose to transgress the doctrine.

"…does not have God. But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (v 9).

Remember Psalm 119:100: "I understand more than the ancients because I keep Your precepts."


2-Cor. 3 is where Paul is trying to get across…. There's a new ministry and far deeper than simply just preaching a little here and there. There's something deeper. It is relationship. Paul is saying that we have the opportunity to see God with our spiritual eyes! Not physically, we don't physically see God. We hear His voice, but not with our ears. That's what Isaiah would say, their eyes and ears are closed.

2-Corinthians 3:12: "Now then, because we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; for we are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face, so that the children of Israel could not gaze to the end upon the glory that is now being set aside" (vs 12-13).

So, the glory of the Old Covenant was being set aside, but they were so glorious that Moses' faced glowed! It scared the people because God was opening their eyes to a spiritual understanding, and they couldn't handle it.

'Moses, don't let God talk to us'—covering their ears—'don't let us see God's reflection in your face'—all were covering their eyes!

Verse 14: "But their minds were blinded… [God did that] …for to the present hour the same veil has not been removed, but remains at the reading of the Old Covenant…"—the Old Testament! People won't read the O.T.:

That's all done away with, we don't have to obey the Old Covenant/that Old Law.

"…which veil is removed in Christ" (v 15).

When we have a fuller understanding of who and what Christ is! Jesus Christ was preached out of the Old Testament, He inspired the Old Testament along with God the Father. Then we can understand that the Old Covenant was glorious and it was emitting light filled with electrons. The people couldn't see it; they wanted that veil!

Verse 15: "For to this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their hearts. But when their hearts turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (vs 15-16).

So, people actually can choose to partake of the Truth; IF they would choose to!

Remember Psa. 119:100; we have that understanding because we embrace God and Truth! There are many Scriptures on this that I can't get to. But if you ponder on this and you analyze for yourself:

  • How has God opened my eyes?
  • What do I see now that I didn't see before?
  • What is my spiritual understanding?
  • What is my spiritual depth?
  • Can I have the deep bonded relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ?

Acts 9—God opened Paul's eyes by closing them first!

Acts 9:3: "But it came to pass while he was journeying, as he drew near to Damascus, that suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him." He saw the light; he wasn't blind, yet!

Verse 4: "And after falling to the ground… [God knocked him off his horse] …he heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?'" He was hearing the voice of God!

Verse 5: "And he said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting….'" It says later that Paul was blinded!

Verse 9: "But for three days he was not able to see, and he did not eat or drink."

Verse 10: "Now, there was in Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, 'Ananias.' And he said, 'Behold, I am here, Lord.'"

When we have an understanding of God's calling us, we should say, 'Here I am, Lord. What do You want me to do? I'm up!' Like when the teacher called the roll in school! We need to answer that call. When God says your name:

Yes Sir, here I am! What can I do? Let me serve You well. Open my eyes that I may see!

Verse 12: "And he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming and putting his hands on him, so that he may receive sight."

Yeah, but he's doing all this evil stuff!

Verse 15: "But the Lord said to him, 'Go, for this man is a chosen vessel to Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel'"

Verse 17: "Then Ananias went away and came into the house; and after laying his hands on him, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me, even Jesus, Who appeared to you on the road… [he knew what had happened] …in which you came, so that you might receive sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' And it was as if scales immediately fell from his eyes, and he instantly received sight; and he arose and was baptized" (vs 17-18).

This is a pretty amazing thing, because God blinded Saul before enlightened Saul. Sometimes He has to do that. Sometimes it take a 2x4 and 'whack us over the head':

Are you listening! Wake up, I'm talking to you!

John 9—this is where Jesus Christ gives vision to the blind man. They asked, 'Who sinned, this man or his father?' I don't understand why anyone would think that he could have sinned in utero or as a baby.

John 9:3: "Jesus answered, 'Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; rather, this blindness came so that the works of God might be manifested in him."

It was shown in him so that the people could see something amazing in him.

Luke 11:33: "Now, no one who lights a lamp sets it in a secret place or under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who are entering may see the light. The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is without guile, your whole body is light; but when your eye is evil, your body also is dark. Therefore, beware that the light that is in you is not darkness. Now then, if your whole body is light, not having any part dark, it shall be full of light, as when a lamp shining brightly gives you light" (vs 33-36).

We are walking now in the darkest part that this world has ever known. It was terribly dark before the Flood. Darkness means an absence of light! But we are the Light of this world.

Matthew 6:14—Jesus says: " You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand; and it shines for all who are in the house. In the same way also, you are to let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and may glorify your Father Who is in heaven" (vs 14-16).

You and I are the light of this world, we are supposed to be shining and expanding and allowing our light to shine so that others may see. We have a part in Jesus' first half ministry. Jesus said that

the Holy Spirit has now come upon Me for Me to preach the Gospel, but I'm also going to be giving sight to those who are blinded.

That is part of our effort along with Jesus! Why? Because we're Christians! We're named after Him! We're followers of Christ! As followers of Christ we should be:

  • imparting that same vision
  • the same spiritual understanding
  • that same Light that can emit from our faces just like it did from Moses' face

Not in a physical sense as it was in Moses' time, but rather in a spiritual sense!

Almost every verse in this whole chapter (John 6) is either headed toward sightedness or blindness! You're either trying to see or understand something to be seen or you're the Pharisees trying to hide and obfuscate or shield the Truth and trying not to see! Trying not to allow Jesus to have done His miracle, which He did. We are not to hide our light!

John 6:6: "After saying these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to the eyes of the blind man."

There was the mist and the earth, the red clay that the Creator God formed man out of, the dirt of the ground—the same two elements—and then breathed on him and gave him life through the breath. It's interesting that here Jesus makes the same mud and clay that He made man out of (maybe) and creates new eyes for the blind man who was blind since birth!

Verse 7: "And He said to him, 'Go and wash in the pool of Siloam' (which is, by interpretation, "Sent"). Then he went and washed, and came from there seeing."

He washed; the water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Do we see these amazing things that God has opened our mind to see? Yes! Thank you, Lord, for showing us a little bit!

Verse 10: "Then they said to him, 'How were your eyes opened?' He answered and said, 'A Man called Jesus made clay, and applied it to my eyes, and said to me, "Go to the pool of Siloam and wash," and after I went and washed, I received sight.'" (vs 10-11).

Verse 14: "Now it was the Sabbath…"

Remember when Jesus opened His ministry, He said that part of His job was to give the blind sight!

"…when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Therefore, the Pharisees in turn also asked him how he had received sight. And he said to them, 'He put clay on my eyes, and I washed; and now I see.'" (vs 14-15).

Verse 17: "They said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him since He opened your eyes?' And he said, 'He is a prophet.'"

Verse 21—the blind man's parents talking: "But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.'"

Verse 25: "Then he… [the blind man] …answered and said, 'Whether He is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know, that I was blind, and now I see.'…. [Is that not us?] …And they said to him again, 'What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?'" (vs 25-26).

They are acknowledging in a sense that Jesus did open his eyes.

Verse 30: "The man answered and said to them, 'This is truly an amazing thing, that you do not know where He has come from, yet, He has opened my eyes.'"

Time and again it shows that Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man.

Verse 39: And Jesus said… [His stated purpose] …'For judgment I have come into this world so that those who do not see might see, and those who see might become blind.'"

We don't fully understand how He's going to blind those who see, but we look at the Pharisees who thought they saw, and thus the became blind because they rejected the Truth of God.

Verse 40: "And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things; and they said to Him, 'Are we also blind?'….

We're the spiritual leaders and God is working through us. Don't you know that?

Verse 41: "Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would not have sin….'"

This is scary stuff; Jesus is warning them—the Pharisees—that they are in danger of the Judgment, which He just said that He would do (v 39). They are in danger of losing their eternal life.

"…But now you say, 'We see.' Therefore, your sin remains" (v 41)—without covering or blood shed for it! You still have your sin! Thus they retain their blindness!

In their thinking that they see, but they are wrong! Does this not remind you of Rom. 1? There are so many Scriptures that could support all of this. But it's incumbent upon us:

  • to strive for spiritual vision
  • to see God in His clarity
  • to hear His voice
  • to obey

What do we do with the vision, with the seeing, with the opening of the eyes that God has given to us?

The first thing is you have to thank Him! Show appreciation! Glorify God for granting us vision that we would not have had otherwise.

Secondly, you have to expand it, grow it! We have to seek more of it! Pray for more of it!

God, grant me than I may see! Help me to understand! Show me You way!

Did not David do that all the time? We want to develop this gift! What happens if we don't develop it? We lose it!

Thirdly, this reflecting God's Light down to us and our faces going outward. We have to give it to others, share it and expand our realm of influence. We have to let our light so shine.

Of course, we don't want to 'cast our pearls before swine,' but we can plant seed! We can plant seed wherever we go and see if there is something that comes of it. Maybe God will cause that seed to germinate and will come up like a little plant.

Maybe that plant will become one of the trees like you and I are. We can plant these seeds and share this because we appreciate what God has given to us and we want others to have it, as well. We want to enjoy this gift and we want others to enjoy the gift that God has given to us so He can give it to them.

We are to build the old waste places of people's ruined lives. When they're sitting in their ashes, we—God through us with His Spirit in us—can give them beauty for their ashes! We can be a witness to them and share God's Truth with them.

We can help open the eyes through our works:

  • by planting seeds
  • by allowing our light to so shine
  • by helping to heal our neighbors

As a Christ follower, as a Christian, we can do that part of Jesus' ministry, help to fulfill that part of Jesus' ministry through us. We can spread the Light and give sight wherever you can.

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 16:4-14
  • Genesis 21:17-19
  • Genesis 22:9-15
  • Numbers 22:20-32, 34-35, 20
  • 2 Kings 6:14-20
  • Mark 6:48-52
  • Luke 24:45
  • Psalm 119:100
  • Luke 4:16-19
  • Isaiah 61:1-2
  • Luke 4:20-21
  • Isaiah 61:2-4
  • Isaiah 58:11-12
  • Isaiah 61:6
  • Isaiah 6:1-3, 8-10
  • John 12:35-36, 38-40
  • Acts 28:25-27
  • 2 John 9
  • Psalm 119:100
  • 2 Corinthians 3:12-16
  • Acts 9:3-5, 9-10, 12, 15, 17-18
  • John 9:3
  • Luke 11:33-36
  • Matthew 5:14-16
  • John 9:6-7, 10-11, 14-15, 17, 21, 25-26, 30, 39-41

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 7
  • John 6:44
  • Romans 1

Transcribed: 9/9/22

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