Summary: If you want to be truly wise, don’t be like those who WON’T SEE, and don’t be like those who CAN’T SEE. Instead, be like those who DO SEE, because they let Jesus touch them, not just once, but as many times as it takes.
A businessman was late for an important meeting and couldn't find a parking space. As he frantically circled the block, the man got so desperate that he decided to pray.
Looking up toward heaven, he said, “Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking space, I'll go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life, and not only that, I'll give up drinking.”
Miraculously, a parking space appeared.
The guy looked up again and said, “Never mind. I found one.” (John Beukema, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; www.PreachingToday.com)
There are some people in this world who can’t see for looking. The evidence could be as clear as the nose on their face, but they cannot see it, because they simply refuse to see it.
It reminds me of an old Persian proverb which says: He who knows not, and knows NOT that he knows not, is a fool; shun him. He who knows not, and KNOWS that he knows not, is a child; teach him. He who knows, and knows NOT that he knows, is asleep; wake him. And he who knows, and KNOWS that he knows, is wise; follow him.
The question is: How can we get to the point where we become truly wise? How can we get to the point where know that we know that we know? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 8, Mark 8, where Jesus is working to bring His disciples to that point.
Mark 8:11-13 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. (NIV)
The Pharisees were those who knew not, but knew not that they knew not. Oh, they thought they knew. They thought they had all the answers, and they wanted to put Jesus to the test. But even if Jesus passed their test with flying colors, they wouldn’t believe it. Even if Jesus gave them sign after sign after sign to prove to them that He is Lord, they still wouldn’t be able to see Him for who He was, because they didn’t want to.
The fact is Jesus had already given them sign after sign after sign. In Mark 1, in one of their synagogues, He cast out a demon. In Mark 2, in their very presence, He healed a paralyzed man. In Mark 3, in another one of their synagogues, He healed a man with a withered hand. In Mark 5, He raised a little girl from the dead. In Mark 6, He fed 5,000 men plus their wives and children with just 5 rolls and two fish. In Mark 7, Jesus heads to Gentile territory and does a few more miracles, but now in Mark 8, when Jesus gets back to Israel, the Pharisees ask for a sign.
What do the Pharisees need a sign for? Jesus had performed many miracles in their presence so far, but they refuse to see it. It’s not that they can’t see it; they won’t see it. They simply refuse to recognize Jesus for who He is, because they don’t want to. It’s like they’re saying, “I know it all, so don’t confuse me with the facts.”
The Pharisees here are people who know not, but they know not that they know not, so they are fools. That’s why Jesus leaves them without giving them a sign. It wouldn’t have done them any good anyway. Proverbs 26:4 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.”
My friends, if you want to be truly wise don’t be like the Pharisees who refuse to see.
DON’T BE LIKE THOSE WHO WON’T SEE.
Don’t be like those who don’t want to be confused with the facts, because they think they know it all already.
H. G. Wells, who wrote The War of the Worlds, once wrote a short story called The Country of the Blind. It's about an inaccessible, luxurious valley in Ecuador where, due to a strange disease, everyone is blind. After 15 generations of this blindness there was no recollection of sight or color or the outside world at all. Finally a man from the outside – a man who could see –literally fell into their midst. He had fallen off a high cliff and survived, only to stumble into their forgotten country.
When he realized that everyone else was blind, he remembered the old adage: “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Wells writes: