Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sending the seventy, part 29

Turning to the disciples, He said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them. " (Luke 10:23-24 NASB)

Jesus had been speaking to the seventy sent-ones. He turned "to the disciples" to continue speaking. The word here does not make it entirely clear. He may have turned to the twelve apostles but the word translated as "disciples" is also used in Scripture for anyone who is "both a pupil and an adherent" of Jesus, meaning they not only learn the words of Jesus but obey them. These disciples had not only seen the miracles but also understood at some level that they were a manifestation of Almighty God.  They understood that Jesus was not just the Son of Man, but also the Son of God.

The disciples had heard about and seen miraculous things. People had been healed of disease and distress. Lives had been changed. Hearts had turned toward God. Jesus told those who had seen, not just with their eyes but also with their hearts, that they were blessed. The word translated as blessed is makarios and comes from two root words meaning long and length. In a sense, the blessing that comes from seeing the mighty works of God are both long and lengthy, they "stick with us." 

Isn't that what time spent in the presence of God should do? Seeing Him at work should not just change those who receive the miraculous, but also those who stand in the presence of that miracle. Seeing God at work should change us, but does it? When we see Him work in our lives, do we take note and remember it, continuing to praise and thank Him for what He has done? When we see the evidence of His hand in the changed lives around us, do we celebrate it long after the initial glow has passed? 

Recently, a pastor asked for people to share praises in a worship service I attended. Almost all of the people present kept silent. At last, someone mentioned one of the attributes of God. Someone else mentioned another. Most of us (including me, I'm ashamed to say) kept silent. It wasn't that we hadn't seen God do wonderful things. For whatever reason, we refused to speak it. In retrospect, I had spent the last two days praising God for all He had done for me. How did I dare to keep silent? After the service, I was terribly convicted that I, who know so much better, had not done my part. Next time, I will.

He who blesses us in long and lengthy ways deserves our most enthusiastic thanks and praise. We must be sure that we celebrate the One who is so generous with us. Don't hold back. Speak out, shout out, sing out. Let the world know that our Savior lives, reigns, and is still in the miracle business. Praise His Holy Name!