Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah, and more specifically, is found in the sixth chapter of the book. Thus far within the first six chapters of the prophetic book of Zechariah we have experienced the prophet receiving from the Lord a series of visions which had prophetic significance. IMAGES! SYMBOLS! VISIONS! Perhaps one of the most distinct realities surrounding the prophetic book of Zechariah is the incredible amount of images and symbols the prophet saw during his time standing before the Lord to prophesy according to His word. In fact, if you study the Old Testament prophetic writings of the prophets, you will notice that there were specific prophets whom the Lord actively showed specific images and symbols unto them. I can’t help but think of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and now Zechariah. There were in fact specific instances when the Hebrew prophets experienced the word of the Lord beyond just His speaking to them, but actually showing unto them specific visions that contained images, symbols and objects. Consider if you will the seventh chapter of the prophetic book of Amos and that which the Lord showed unto the prophet—“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, He formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting you of the latter growth; and, lo, it wa the latter growth after the king’s mowings. And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? For he is small” (Amos 7:1-12). As you continue reading the seventh chapter of the prophetic book of Amos, you will find in the seventh verse another vision with images and symbols which the Lord showed unto the prophet—“Thus He shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plum line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumb line” (Amos 7:7-8). When you come to the eighth chapter of the same prophetic book of Amos you will find the Lord once more speaking to the prophet through symbols and images which were shown unto him—“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amose, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then the Lord said unto me” (Amos 8:1). WHEN THE WORD OF THE LORD COMES THROUGH SYMBOLS! WHEN THE WORD OF THE LORD COMES THROUGH IMAGES! WHEN THE WORD OF THE LORD IS REVEALED THROUGH OBJECTS BEFORE US!
If you turn and direct your attention to the first chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah, you will find the Lord speaking unto the prophet through that which He showed and revealed unto him. “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, w hat seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands” (Jeremiah 1:11-16). DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEING? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT WHICH THE LORD HAS SHOWN UNTO YOU? If there is one thing that must be carefully considered when reading concerning that which was shown unto the Hebrew prophets through images, symbols, objects, and the like, it’s that it was incredible important that they saw correctly. There is an incredible and underlying reason why after the Lord showed unto the ancient prophets that which He did, He would immediately ask them what they saw. What lends even more credence and weight to this concept is when you read of the encounter Jeremiah had with the Lord, and is recorded beginning with the eleventh verse: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almost tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen” (Jeremiah 1:11-12). WHAT SEEST THOU? I SEE! THOU HAST WELL SEEN! Please don’t miss or lose sight of the tremendous significance and importance of what is recorded here, for within these two verses we find an incredible challenge that is presented unto us. The word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, and it came unto him asking him a very specific question—WHAT SEEST THOU? There are times when the word of the Lord comes in the form of a question, as the Lord proceeds to ask us what we see. SIGHT BEFORE SOUND! Did you know that there are times when sight must precede sound, and that before we hear with our ears that which the Lord desires to speak unto us, we are first required to see? Did you know that there are times when it isn’t until we respond to what we see and have seen that the word of the Lord is then released within our lives?
Within the eleventh and twelfth verses of the first chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah, we find the word of the Lord coming unto Jeremiah, we find the word coming in the form of a question—a question that asks the prophet what he saw, and what he was seeing. WHAT THE PROPHET SAW! WHAT THE PROPHET WAS SEEING! There are times when the word of the Lord can and will come into our lives asking and testing what we saw, what we have seen, and what we are currently seeing, and only from that place of sight can the sound of the word of the Lord proceed to come forth. There are times within our lives when the word of the Lord can only come—and perhaps only continue to come—as we enter into and remain in the place of sight. The word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah asking him what he saw, and only after Jeremiah responded by revealing what he saw did the Lord proceed to reveal the meaning of the vision. There are and there have been countless times when we think of the word of the Lord in terms of that which we hear with our ears, yet we don’t take into consideration the fact that the word of the Lord is and can be directly connected to what we see. In fact, I would emphatically state that it’s not only important that we hear correctly within this generation, but it’s also important to see correctly as well. I am convinced the Lord has not merely called us to a place of hearing alone, nor to a place of seeing alone, but rather, the Lord is calling and has called us into a place where sight and sound operate together. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostles John and Peter wrote in the epistles they wrote, which are recorded in the New Testament. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your jobs may be full” (1 John 1:1-4). In the first chapter of the apostle Peter’s Second epistle to the Jews which had been scattered we find these words recorded for us—“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father, honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but the holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:16-21).
It is quite clear from each of these passages that there is not only a necessity in what we see with our eyes, but there is also a necessity in what we hear with our ears. The more I consider this particular reality, the more I am becoming increasingly convinced that we need to make it our sole effort to make sure that we not only see right, but also that we hear right. The human body has five distinct senses that are all part of the physical body, yet are completely separated and independent of each other. The five senses which each and every human being was designed to have are: sight (eyes), hearing (ears), taste (mouth), smell (nose) and touch (hands). I can’t help but wonder how many out of balance Christians and saints there are among us within our churches. What I mean by that is that there are those saints who may be excellent at hearing with their ears, yet when it comes to seeing with their eyes, they have a very difficult time. Conversely, there are those saints who may be excellent at seeing, yet they have a very difficult time hearing with their ears. What happens when one is out of balance, is that the sense which is prominent within your life becomes enhanced, and so much so that what is experienced with that sense is heightened. There are countless examples in Scripture regarding this reality, for consider how many individuals Jesus encountered who were blind—whether from birth, or as a result of something that may have happened to them during the course of their life. Consider how many individuals Jesus encountered who were deaf, and as a result, could not hear with their ears. It is and has been a proven fact that when one of the senses is removed from the life of an individual, the various other senses tend to overcompensate for that one sense that has been removed. In other words, when one’s hearing is removed from their life, typically their sight and their ability to see becomes heightened and enhanced. Conversely, when one’s seeing is removed from their life, typically their hearing is enhanced and heightened, and begins to over compensate for that which has been removed. I must clearly state again that there are a number of saints among us within this generation who are out of balance, for either they seem to be able to see and yet not hear, or they seem to be able to hear and yet be able to see. I believe with all my heart that both our hearing, as well as our seeing need to work in direct connection and alignment with each other, and that we must not only hear right, but we must also see right as well.
The Lord asked the prophet. Jeremiah what he saw, and I can’t help but wonder if it was possible that Jeremiah could have gotten it wrong. What I mean by that statement, is that the Lord could have asked Jeremiah what it was he was seeing, and when Jeremiah responded, the Lord could have had to correct his sight. You will notice how the Lord declared unto Jeremiah “thou hast well seen,” and yet with that statement also comes the possibility the Lord could have spoken unto Jeremiah the exact opposite. In other words, the Lord could have asked Jeremiah what he saw, and Jeremiah could have responded, yet the Lord could have had to respond to Jeremiah by informing him that what he had seen was incorrect. This actually brings me to an all-important truth that must be considered—the truth that it is possible the Lord needs to actively correct the sight of a number of His saints. What I mean by this statement, is the Lord is asking His saints what they are seeing, and while there are certain saints who are seeing correctly, there are other saints who aren’t seeing correctly. The same reality holds true of the Lord asking His saints what they are hearing, for there are some saints who are hearing correctly, while there are others who aren’t hearing correctly. In all reality, it is absolutely imperative that we see correctly, and that we hear correctly, for that which we speak is directly connected to, and directly flows forth from what we have seen and what we have heard. THOU HAST NOT HEARD CORRECTLY! THOU HAST NOT SEEN CORRECTLY! You will notice in the first chapter of the apostle John’s first epistle to the Ephesian congregation that what he—as well as the other apostles—spoke unto them was directly connected to, and was a direct result of what they had seen, what they had heard, what they had touched, and what they had handled of the Word of life. Carefully consider this reality and concept, for the importance of our seeing correctly, as well as the importance of our hearing correctly is directly connected to our ability so speak correctly. How can you expect or even hope to speak correctly if you can’t even and aren’t seeing correctly? How can you expect or even hope to speak correctly if you can’t even and aren’t even hearing correctly? That which proceeds forth from our mouths in the presence of those around us must be a careful representation and manifestation of that which we have seen with our ears, and that which have heard with our ears. I would dare say there are a number of men and women—both those in public ministry in the spotlight before others, and those who are behind the scenes out of the spotlight—who aren’t speaking correctly because they either aren’t hearing correctly, or because they aren’t seeing correctly.
When writing and speaking to the seventh church of Asia Minor in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we find Jesus Christ speaking something very specific to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans. Beginning with the fourteenth verse we find and read these words—“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art Neither could not hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spur thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am right, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke, and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with. Me” (Revelation 3:14-20). While there is a a tremendous amount of truth and instruction contained within Jesus’ address to the church of the Laodiceans, it is the concept of anointing their eyes with eye salve that is what I would choose to focus on. It’s actually quite interesting that not only was this congregation lukewarm—neither cold, nor hot—but this congregation also had a fault perception of themselves. This congregation viewed themselves as rich, increased with goods, and having need of nothing, yet they had absolutely no clue they were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. Please don’t be quick to move past this, for Jesus spoke of this congregation as believing themselves to be rich, and to be increased in goods, and to have need of nothing, yet they were completely oblivious and unaware of that which was deficient with their hearts and lives. They viewed themselves as not having need of anything, yet it was from that place of confidence the Lord corrected their perception of themselves, and declared them to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. WRETCHED! MISERABLE! POOR! BLIND! NAKDED! It’s worth noting that despite the fact they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, Jesus not only encouraged them to rectify their present condition, but also offered to help in the process. You will notice that when Jesus spoke of gold tried in the fire in order that t hey might be rich, He encouraged them to buy such from Him. This is actually quite remarkable when you think about it, for when it comes to us buying the gold that makes us rich, we not only must buy gold which has been tried in the fire, but we must also recognize that that gold comes only from He who’s eyes are as flames of fire, and whose feet are are burnished bronze.
When speaking to the church of the Laodiceans, Jesus instructed and encouraged them to anoint their eyes with eye salve, and to do so in order that they might see. There is a particular passage found within the New Testament gospel of Mark which I feel helps confirm and reveal this need to have our eyes anointed in order that they might see. Beginning with the twenty-second verse of the eighth chapter of the gospel according to Mark, we read of Jesus’ journey to Bethsaida, and how those within this particular town brought unto him a blind man. Read the following words concerning the encounter this blind man had with the eternal Son of the living God: “And he mouth to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto Him, and besought Him to touch Him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and let him out of the town; and when He had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every many clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town” (Mark 8:22-26). This particular passage in the New Testament gospel according to Mark helps to further confirm this reality of needing one’s eyes anointed in order that they might see. Within this passage we find Jesus taking the blind man by the hand, leading him out of the town, and once out of the town, Jesus spit on his eyes, and put His hands upon him. Immediately after Jesus spit upon his eyes and put His hands upon him, He then asked him if he saw anything. Essentially, that which Jesus was asking this blind man was not only if he saw, but also what he saw as well. This is quite powerful, for it’s not enough for us to merely acknowledge that we see, but it’s also equally as important to understand what we are seeing. Notice that this man responded to Jesus after looking and declaring how he saw men as trees, walking. After Jesus had spit upon his eyes and laid His hands upon him, this man could see something, yet his sight wasn’t perfected. Notice the three phases of the progression within this blind man within this passage of Scripture, for his encounter with Jesus began with him being blind, progressed to him seeing, yet that vision still being obscured and not perfected, and would finally culminate in his being able to see completely as his sight restored. BLIND! PARTIAL SIGHT! RESTORED SIGHT! I am convinced that there is present within our congregations men and women who are represented by each of these phases. There are those men and women who are completely and totally blind, and are in need of Jesus to take them by the hand, lead them into a place outside and away from others, and to lay His hands on them. There are those among us within our congregations who have had Jesus lay His hands upon them, and while it is true they see, their vision is not and has not been perfected. There are those among us who may very well see, yet what they see is obscured and blurry. Such individuals need Jesus to lay His hands on them a second time, in order that they might see fully, and that their sight might be restored. While Scripture doesn’t state that when Jesus first laid His hands upon this man, He did so upon his eyes, it does, however reveal that when He laid His hands upon him a second time, He laid His hands upon his eyes. I am convinced there are men and women among us who need Jesus to touch them one more time in order that their sight might be completely restored. There are times when the first touch doesn’t do it, but only initiates the process within our lives, for the first touch warrants a second touch in order that the work might be complete.
Continuing along these same lines, there is another passage found within the New Testament that references Jesus anointing the eyes of a blind man in order that he might see. When you come to the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel according to John, you will encounter the man who was blind from birth. Consider if you will the account of this man who had been blind from birth: “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples ask Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (Which is by interpretation, Sent.) HE went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9:1-7). There are a few distinct realities that are found in this passage of Scripture, for within it we not only find Jesus spitting on the ground to make clay, but we also find Jesus anointing the eyes of this blind man with the clay. It’s quite interesting that Jesus made clay from the dirt of the ground, and then took that clay and placed it upon the eyes of the blind man, for it was from the dust of the earth the Lord formed us from clay and then breathed into our nostrils the breath of life in order that we might become a living soul. Is it possible that when Jesus placed the clay upon the eyes of this man, what He was actually doing was making something brand new that hadn’t been there before. The only thing we know from this passage is that Jesus anointed this man’s eyes with the clay He had made, but I would love to know exactly what this looked like. In other words, not only did Jesus make clay from the spittle, but when He placed that clay upon this man’s eyes, what He was actually doing was forming something brand new that perhaps wasn’t there before, or had been damaged from birth. What if when Jesus placed the clay upon the eyes of this man, He didn’t merely anoint His eyes, but also formed new eyes within this man? Jesus may very well have anointed the eyes of this man with the clay he had made, and within and from that place of anointing, He may very well have formed something brand new which this man had never had or experienced before.
What’s more, is that immediately after Jesus anointed the eyes of this man with the clay He had made, He then sent this man away from Him, and out of His presence—blind, but anointed. BLIND, BUT ANOINTED! Pause for a moment and consider that reality—the reality that this man was blind, yet was anointed by the Lord Jesus Christ. This man was still blind when he left the presence of Jesus, yet there was something different about when he left the presence of Jesus—he left with his eyes having been anointed by Jesus the Christ. BLIND, YET ANOINTED! BLIND AND SENT! What we will notice within this passage is that while it was Jesus who anointed the eyes of this man with the clay He had made, it was this man who was then to wash in the pool of Siloam. I can’t help but wonder if this man thought about merely wiping the clay off from his eyes rather than washing. Remember Namaan the leper who was commander in the Syrian army, and how he was instructed by Elisha the prophet to go and dip himself seven times in the Jordan River seven times? Naaman could very well have dipped himself in the Jordan River only once, and yet had he done that, he would not have been cleansed of his leprosy. Naaman not only needed to dip himself in the Jordan River, but he needed to dip himself seven times, and when he emerged from the waters the seventh time, his skin would be completely restored unto him. Similarly, this blind man was instructed to wash in the pool of Siloam, which is actually quite interesting when you think about it. It’s important to note that this blind man did leave the presence of Jesus still blind, yet even though he left blind, he left with two distinct realities within his life. The first is that he left which his eyes having been anointed by Jesus the Christ, while the second is that he left with a very specific instruction from the Lord. His washing in the pool of Siloam would require obedience to the command, the word and the instruction given him by the Lord Jesus Christ. I can’t help but wonder how far the pool of Siloam was for this man—not only because there might have been various opportunities to wash his eyes on the way to that pool, but also because this man undoubtedly would have had to have been accompanied by at least one other individual in order to make it to the pool. BLIND, YET ANOINTED! BLIND, YET ACCOMPANIED! This man was blind, yet was anointed by Jesus, and what’s more, this man was blind, yet he was accompanied along his journey to the pool of Siloam. It was Jesus who anointed his eyes, thus revealing the work Jesus performed within his life, yet it wasn’t enough for his eyes to be anointed, for that anointing needed to be mixed with washing. I can’t help but wonder how many men and women may very well have been anointed by the Lord Jesus, yet they have not mixed that anointing with washing. Jesus the Christ did indeed anoint their eyes in order that they might see, yet that anointing needs to be mixed with their obedience to washing—and not only washing, but washing exactly where they were instructed by the Lord.
This man who was born blind had his eyes anointed with the clay the Lord Jesus had made, and left the presence of Jesus needed to washing that which his eyes had been anointed off. I find this to be absolutely incredible, for this man was born blind, and it was Jesus who anointed his eyes. The church of the Laodiceans were also blind, yet Jesus encouraged them to buy eye salve in order that they might anoint their eyes that they might see. The question I can’t help but wonder concerning the church of the Laodiceans is how long they had been blind. Jesus described this church as being blind, yet I can’t say that this church was born blind, for I have never known a church to be born blind. What’s more, is that Jesus’ instruction to this church to repent suggests that their blindness was not a reality among them in their midst from the very beginning. There came a point within the life of this congregation when they had become blind, and it this very concept that causes me to wonder just how. Long they had been blind. Scripture is unclear as to how long this church had been blind, but what is clear is that Jesus provided them with instruction on how to overcome their blindness and to see [again]. I can’t help but wonder how this church even became blind in the first place, for I find it absolutely impossible that this church had been born blind. WHEN THE CHURCH BECOMES BLIND! When speaking of the church, and when speaking of the saints of God, it’s necessary to understand that no church or saint could be born blind, but could very well reach the point where they could and would become blind. The song “Amazing Grace” speaks of being blind, yet now seeing, and yet I can’t help but be convinced of the fact that it is possible to be spiritually blind prior to our birth as a new creation, and to receive our sight once we experienced being born again as a new creation. With that being said, I would also state that it is possible for one to become blind at some point within and throughout their lives. A perfect example of this is found in Jesus’ indictment of the Pharisees and the scribes as recorded in the twenty-third chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, for He referred to them as being blind guides. There is a part of me that wonders if certain of these scribes and Pharisees had been blind the whole time, and if others did not begin blind, but allowed themselves to lose their sight and ultimately become blind. The church of the Laodiceans were indicted for being blind, yet they were also invited to see once more. INDICTED AS BLIND, YET INVITED TO SEE! There are countless men and women among us who right now are being indicted as blind, yet are also invited to see—perhaps for the first time, or perhaps for the second time. I believe with everything inside me that there is a tremendous challenge for us to anoint our eyes with eye salve in order that we might see. I believe there is an incredible challenge among us in this generation to allow the Lord to anoint our eyes, and then to mix that anointing with the obedience of washing. There are some among us who are and have been indicted as being blind, yet they have been given an invitation to see. We as the saints of God must see correctly in order that we might speak correctly, and we as the saints of God must hear correctly in order that we might speak correctly. The man who was born blind wasn’t indicted for being blind, but he was invited to see—invited to see through the anointing and washing. ANOINTED AND SENT, WASHED AND SEEING!