Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: #8 in series. We see God and the world the way it really is when we put on our Holiness Glasses.

Sermon #8 of Sermon the Mount Series

preached April 21, 2002

Parkview Church of the Nazarene

Mobile, AL

J. Richard Lord, Jr.

Holiness Glasses

Matthew 5:8


Since I was about twelve years old, I have had to wear corrective lenses of some kind. If, for some reason, I could not wear glasses or contacts, I could classed as legally blind. Between myopia and astigmatism, I can’t even see the big “E” on the eye chart without vision correction. Amazingly, with good vision correction, I have perfectly good 20-20 vision.

A couple of times since I have started wearing glasses, I have found myself in the situation of having to have eyeglass repair done without the benefit of having a spare pair of glasses. It is incredible how much a sighted person depends upon their sight for the simplest of things. All of your reactions, your movements and your reflexes depend on being able to see. You are accustomed to looking at where you are going, looking for what you are reaching for, looking at the job you are performing at the time, even watching where you are walking. All of this depends on your sight.

When you are temporarily blinded, you feel helpless. Even in my condition, when all I can see is just vague shapes and blurs of colors, you very quickly develop a sense of being lost. You can’t watch television, you can’t read and it’s very disconcerting to carry on a conversation with someone or a group of people that are only just blobs that move around. You can’t see facial expressions, you can’t even tell sometimes if they are talking to you or someone else.

I discovered something else. It is very hard for me to even play the piano without looking at it. I am so accustomed to watching where my hands go that if I try to play the piano without looking at it from time to time, I get lost. I have to give blind people a lot of credit. They have made an incredible adjustment to having lost their sight.

When you are in that condition for any length of time, you do find yourself beginning to adapt. Instead of turning your head to look for something, you reach out with your hand and feel for it. You find yourself walking down a hall way with your hand on the wall, feeling for doorways. You find yourself, when filling a glass, just sticking your finger in the top so you can tell when the glass is full. When you are in conversation with someone, you don’t feel a need to turn and face them. You are more likely to turn your ear to them rather than your face.

You find yourself developing a whole new set of reactions and reflexes. You move slower. You don’t take as large a step as you once did. You feel your way through doorways. Staircases are a challenge. You move differently, think differently and even act differently.

It is a completely different world you find yourself in. You feel trapped, left out and sometimes, ignored. You begin to sense that horror you would feel if, for some reason, you were to lose your sight permanently.

But let’s reverse that for a moment. Let’s pretend that from birth, you have been blind. You do not know what it is to see a sunset, to look at the majesty of mountains, or the beauty of the ocean.

The only conception you have of your parents is by how they feel. You have no picture in your mind of what they look like. Indeed, you don’t even have a concept of what a picture is. Because you have never seen, you have no concept of what vision is. It would be much like us trying to conceive of what radio waves look like.

All the reactions and reflexes you have are the ones you have developed through touch. You don’t know what it means to be able to see an object and walk toward to pick it up or touch it. Who you are and what your are is limited by the lack of this one sense. You have no conception of many things, because you can’t see them.

This is much like what sin is. We are born outside a relationship to God. We have no concept of God, because we have never seen him. All we know is what our physical senses tell us.

A teacher sent a boy outside the class with the instructions to make some observations and come back in and report what we saw. When he came back in, the teacher asked him, “Did you see the sky?” “Yes, ma’am,” he said. “What color was it?” “Blue,” he replied. “Were there clouds?” “Yes, ma’am.” “What color were they?” she asked. “Well, there some white and some gray,” he said. “Did you see the ground?” she asked. “Yes, ma’am, it was green in some places and brown in other places.” he answered. “Did you see God?” she asked. “No, ma’am, I didn’t,” he said. “Then, he must not exist,” declared the teacher.

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