Have you ever thought about how many times the Bible describes salvation and our experience of it in terms of vision? I have … a lot recently.
Late last week, as I was preparing my mind for the celebration of Easter, I had LASIK. After years of waffling, complaining about the expense, worrying about having permanent changes made to my eyes, I finally did it.
The intervening 72 hours have been interesting. I woke up Friday with 20/20 vision. I could read the alarm clock without glasses. Today, my vision is a little fuzzy, my eyes watery. All that’s normal they tell me. Just be patient, they exhort. The only encouragement I need now comes via my new found vision. With the blind beggar in
and John Newton, I can say, “I was blind but now I see.” Jerusalem
All of which brings me back to my current fascination with the language of vision in the Bible:
Reading the account of the Resurrection in Luke 24, I was struck by how many times Luke describes the scene and its interpretation in light of vision. The women saw the tomb was empty. The ladies’ report to the disciples appeared to them as unbelievable. Peter ran to the empty tomb to see for himself that the Lord was resurrected. Jesus was seen by multitudes of eyewitnesses in the following weeks.
Then, of course, there’s the account of Paul’s conversion. On the road to
he had an encounter with the risen Lord. There he saw the light. Days later when Ananias explained the Gospel the scales fell from Paul’s eyes. Damascus
I’m also reminded of Paul’s words to the church in
. There in chapter 13, Paul reminded them of the beauty of Christian love. There reminded them that while all that they experience in this life might not make sense to them, it will in the light of eternity. For, now we see as through a glass darkly, then we will see Christ’s love face to face (v. 12). Corinth
Today, as my eyes continue to heal, as I fluctuate between the crisp vision I had hoped for and the murkiness of my vision’s past, I see what the Bible is trying to communicate. The fall and the poor vision it has caused (literally) hold us back, imprisoned in eyes focused only on sin. With salvation, however, comes a new clarity, vision to see the truth more clearly, new eyes to see the Lord more perfectly.
To regain the physical vision of my youth, I had to have my eyes surgically altered. To regain the spiritual vision of our created purpose, we have to have our souls changed. While we must occasionally grope in the darkness of this sin filled world, we have the blessed hope that the day will come when we shall see Jesus as He really is for then we will finally be like Him (1 John 3:2). If seeing is believing, believing will be seeing. Thank God for new vision.
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About Peter Beck
Peter serves as assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University where he teaches church history and theology. While serving as senior pastor in Louisville, Ky., he completed his PhD in historic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation, The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards's Theology of Prayer, is soon to be published. He, his wife Melanie, and their two kids, Alex (12) and Karis (7), live near Charleston, SC. Peter's goal for his teaching and writing ministries is "love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Tim 1:5).
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