loren Eric Swanson: Eyes Wide Open

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eyes Wide Open

This morning while taking a walk on the open space near our house I was listening to the book of Matthew on my iPod. One verse in particular caught my ear—a passage I had caught my eye a couple weeks ago when I was reading this gospel--Matthew 13:15:
For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

Most everyone wants to get well…and wants the Lord to heal them but not surprisingly Jesus tells us that we have a part in our own development. We go through life…I go through life with closed eyes, plugged ears and a heard heart. But Jesus offers something better; if we open our eyes, our ears and our hearts we will “turn”…we will do something differently and Jesus will step in and heal. I think this is what it means to say “yes” to life and “yes” to God. This got me thinking about how open, observant and responsive Jesus was. His observations led to him “turning”—being available for a different agenda that day because he was living in the dynamic response to life as he walked through it. So I googled (generic term for “looked up”) some key words regarding what Jesus did when he saw, heard or learned.
Matthew 8:18: When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.
Matthew 9:2: When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."
Mark 2:5:When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
Mark 9:25: When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
Mark 10:14: When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mark 12:34: When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
Luke 5:20: When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."Luke 7:13: When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."
Luke 13:12: When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."
John 1:47: When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."
John 5:6: When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?
John 11:33: When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
John 19:26: When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"
Matthew 4:12: When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.
Matthew 8:10: When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Matthew 14:13:When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
Luke 7:9: When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."
Luke 18:22: When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
John 2:3: When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee
John 5:6: When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
I think the point Jesus was making is this—life is happening all around us. Hear, see, learn and respond. Responsiveness matters.


At Tuesday, April 22, 2008 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Stephen said...


what audio bible vss do you use? I have thorougly enjoyed the TNIV's Bible Experience. I tend to listen to the Scriptures now more than I read them.

At Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:09:00 PM, Blogger Joe Cross said...

Good word Eric.


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