Men as trees walking....
Up for a walk first thing this morning, I decided to treat my eyes to a breath of cool autumnal air - a 30-minute break from the seemingly endless cycle of contact lens insertion (both soft disposable and hard gas-permeable) and removal. So my wife and I, with two Bernese Mountain Dogs in tow (who was pulling who?), headed off on our short, brisk, familiar route.
Just like before, the breeze was the same, the grass remained green, and trees still provided shade, yet everything appeared blurred - I was unable to see a single leaf vein, grass blade, house brick, rock outline or by-passer smile. All forms were vague, dull, lifeless - clarity and detail was missing and absent from everything. Nevertheless, it was still good to be out - and I thank the Lord for the ability to walk, hear and think.
Perhaps it has become a little bit like that recently when doing your own personal bible readings, preparing your sermons, worshipping at church or chirping out Psalms. The clarity, elegance, beauty, symmetry, glory, tones and colors of the Scriptures seem curiously and discouragingly indistinct and drab - you know the Book is cheery, bright, revitalizing and good, but your soul is crusted, dry and stale. You look into the Scriptures and instead of a panoramic vista of shining, inspiring, heart-warming heroes, basking in the love and light of Christ, you see men and women of faith, and particularly their Prince, "as trees walking".
The blind man of Bethsaida, mentioned uniquely in Mark's Gospel, is now accepted by many as an acted parable of half-blind disciple short-sightedness. Peter, James and John, along with rest of Jesus' followers, had eventually grasped, with God's help, that the Nazarene was truly authorized and anointed by Heaven as King. But, as the half-way point is reached, the penny still had not dropped - they needed to understand, that in order to be saved, Jesus must be beheld as the Suffering Servant King. Messiah in Mark is coronated with a Cross.
Their portrait of a Prince of power without pain, and glory without the Garden, Gabbatha and Golgotha, proved them still half-blind and unable to study the Bible right. Of course, immediately afterwards, things took a turn for the worst - after a triple prediction of rejection, mocking and crucifixion, full sight was attained in the 20/20 vision of death and resurrection victory. Their top-line-of-the-chart sight of King Jesus was soon to be illuminated by the sparkling, detailed, radiance of nail-scarred form of the Glorified Exalted Lord. The "Aha Moment" comes with the Lord's Anointed's agonies.
So, if just now, as you walk through the Bible fields, and see only forms not features, you can ask the Lord Jesus to take away your cataracts and give you focus to see the things patriarchs and prophets would have plucked their eyes out to behold.
Messianic glimpse, and restoration of Christian vision, is a gift of grace and a work of the Spirit, purchased with Christ's blood. Your Father in heaven has generous gazing gifts for all of His born-blind, regenerated, babes - He tells them to just ask. So pray, as you read, to see Christ in all the Scriptures, and petition the Lord (our Prophetic Priest-King) to see the Glory of His Cross, Greatness of His Person and Goodness of His Offices.
"O Lord, forgive me for reading Scripture without asking for sights of the Savior. Heavenly Father, by your Spirit, grant me fresh sights of the glory of Christ. Help me linger to ponder at the foot of the Cross. Help me sit with Mary at His feet. Help me observe as the Savior works, eats, speaks, sits, prays, sings and sleeps. Take away all the obstructions of devil, world and flesh. Show me, and shape me in, the form of His death. Raise me up in the beauty of His life. Let no trees walk but let Jesus speak."