Open my eyes


Open my eyes that I may see (the wonderful things in your law)

Psalm 119:18
“ 18 Open my eyes that I may see
       wonderful things in your law.”

I want  to think about the next in our series of senses – Sight.


I would like to start with a little example that I would like a volunteer to help me with.

If anyone else wants to try this at the same time please feel free to try it.

To start with I want you to close your eyes.


Now when you open them I’m going to ask you to look at and identify everything in this room that is red. I’m going to give you 3 seconds to do that, after which I want you to close them again.

Ok so look now.

And close them again.

So ...........tell me what red items are in the room.


Now keeping your eyes closed tell me what blue items are in the room?


Okay you can open your eyes now.

You notice how, because you weren’t looking for blue items you didn’t see and remember any of them.


This is what the world of psychology calls filtering. We all do it every day of our lives. We see what we want to see and what our character and life experiences have taught us to see. For example I am an electrical engineer and when I go into a room, the electrical engineer in me is automatically looking at the lights, the power sockets etc.  Whereas when my wife Julia enters the same room she will immediately be more interested in look at the people in the room.


Mark 8:22-25

22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"

 24He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."

 25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village."


Not only is this an amazing miracle, it’s also a very good demonstration of the complete power of God. When the blind man was healed the first time, Jesus asks him what he sees. The blind man’s response is that he sees people looking like trees walking around. He was filtering what he saw with the experiences he knew as someone who was blind. After Jesus first touched his eyes he could see people that looked like what trees must have felt like, a tall column. When Jesus touched his eyes again we read that his eyes were opened, his sight was restored and he saw everything clearly. When Jesus touched the man’s eyes the second time, this time he was healing his mind and gave him the knowledge to interpret his sight.


This is something that the medical world can’t do. If medical science comes up with a way of giving sight to someone who is born blind, what they won’t be able to do is give them all experience of a lifetime to interpret what they see. This miracle therefore demonstrates that when someone was healed by Jesus, it wasn’t like healers who you may see today who claim to heal people. People who were healed by Jesus went away completely restored and he healed both their body and their mind instantly.


However the reason that I decided we should look at this parable is because of its example of the filters that can be on our eyes. The filters that we use on our sight either consciously or unconsciously can act either positively or negatively. The blind man didn’t have a choice about the filter on his eyes after Jesus touched him the first time. He had no knowledge of the visual difference between people and trees.


Filters are really just like looking through binoculars. For example on this slide if we just believed what we saw through the binoculars on this screen we would believe that cats are scared of mice.

However if we remove the binoculars and see clearly, actually we realise that cats are actually scared of dogs.


The majority of our visual filters however are influenced by our beliefs.


For example if you believe that all young people these days are lazy good for nothings who just hang around on street corners and cause problems, then that’s what you will be looking for whenever you see young people. When you go out on the streets you will be looking for the young people who cause trouble, the young people who fit your image of young people and you will remember the examples you see that fit your beliefs. Likewise because of the way your beliefs filter what you see, you may walk past a young person helping an old lady with her shopping and not even notice. 


This is a similar concept to what we spoke about in our first session, the people who Jesus compared to see that fell on the path. These people don’t want to hear and understand God’s word so they ignore it.


So as Christians what filter should we have for our eyes?


Matthew 25

 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

 41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

The king Jesus is talking about here is himself. Jesus is telling us quite clearly that when we see somebody in need, we should be treating them as we would Christ. As though we are seeing them through a filter.    




Hebrews 12

2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. As Christians we are followers of Christ. Christ is the reason for our salvation. So his is the author of our faith. Jesus in the way he lived his life was the perfect example of how to live a Godly life of faith. So he is also the perfecter of our faith.


With our eyes fixed on Jesus, we should be trying to see the world through the eyes of Christ. When we see people in need, we should help them in whatever way we can, like Christ would.

John 4:31-38 (New International Version)

 31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."

 32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."

 33Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"

 34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour."

In this incident the disciples did not have their thoughts focused on the same things as Jesus. Jesus’ focus was on telling people the good news of the gospel. Open your eyes, he says. The fields are ripe for harvest, the crop for eternal life. The filter that Jesus had on his eyes was for doing the will of God, preaching the good news and helping those he came into contact with.

Again as we fix our eyes on Jesus and try to see the world as he saw the world, we should always be looking to tell people about the gospel.


Luke 11:33-34

 33"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.


Let’s look at those two verses in turn, first verse 33.

Our life as faithful disciples is our light to the world. The way we act towards other people, the way we talk to people about our faith is our light. What we know about the gospel is a bright light that we should want to share with other people, so we should act so that other people can see that light.


Verse 34

The eye is the lamp of the body. This again comes back to the concept of filters. What our eyes see will affect our whole bodies. If our eyes are always fixed on Jesus and we are seeing the world as Jesus would, then we will be filling our bodies with good things and our hearts and mind will be good and in turn our light will be good and shine brightly. If we filter our eye sight to see only bad and sinful things then those things will fill our minds and our hearts.


The apostle Paul summarises this nicely in his letter to the Philippians


Php 4:6-8

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Like we said in our last talk, if we focus on the troubles of this life, money, jobs etc, it doesn’t help us. What will help us to develop as Christians and resist the weeds that can come up and choke us is to develop our relationship with God through prayer. And to focus our thoughts on the things of God. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Again Paul reminds us that these things of this life are only temporary and therefore we shouldn’t waste our time concentrating on them. By fixing our eyes on what is unseen Paul means that we should are looking focusing on the example Jesus set us and looking forward to the glory of eternal life that God has set aside for us.

This is why our faith is so important. We must be able to focus on the Lord Jesus even though none of us has ever seen him. He is our example. Jesus himself looked forwards  beyond his immediate suffering when he was enduring the cross, as we read in Hebrews.


Hebrews 12:2

for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.








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