SEEING AND SEEING
The disciples looked at one another; someone had forgotten to bring the food. After a check of the ship they found only a single loaf of bread to be shared between them. Each one's glance drifted guiltily to where Jesus stood at the side of the ship looking toward the far shore. Since leaving the group of Pharisees who had tried to waylay him with their tricks and questions he had stood like that. He was probably even more hungry than they, and all they had was a loaf of bread.
From where they were grouped they heard Jesus speak in a tone he used when there was something he particularly wanted them to know. "Listen to what I have to say," he commanded them. "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod."
Talking among themselves they decided that Jesus knew they had not made provision for food and that he was displeased with them. Although they Had spoken in whispers, Jesus turned to them asking: "Why do you think that I spoke about the absence of food? Do you not understand yet-do you not grasp what I mean? Are your hearts hardened to me already? "You have eyes, can you not see? You have ears, can't you hear, and do you so soon forget all that I have spoken to you? When I broke the five loaves of bread among the five thousand who had come to hear me teach, how many baskets full of food were taken up after all had eaten?"
"Twelve baskets, Master," they told Him."If I could supply the need then, what is to stop me from doing the same now?" Noticing the blank looks still on their faces he asked: "How is it that you do not yet understand?" There is a difference in seeing and really taking in what is seen. One merely catches the visual impressions. The other catches it and analyzes it. Then the person comes to an understanding. Some people never get past the "surface- skimming" stage. From a human standpoint Jesus might well have despaired that his followers-those twelve, hand-picked men, who would turn the world upside down-would ever graduate past the skimming stage. But Christ was, among other things, their Teacher. Almost immediately, He set about to impress something on those men. In a group gathered to one side of the road the disciples watched as Jesus took the blind man by the hand to lead him away from the town. Jesus spat upon the eyes and asked him what he could see. The man looked around: "I see men who are like walking trees. It is all very unclear." As he finished speaking Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes and told him to look again. "I can see! I can see clearly now!" He cried to the crowd as his sight was restored, "I can finally see."
The man had been blind, unable to see the sky, his friends, or even his own family; however, Jesus didn't heal him right away as he had in other cases. Instead, He touched him once and then the man reported that he saw but the images were obscure and out of focus. Perhaps Jesus looked at his disciples then, wondering if they
were grasping the analogy.
Earlier, on board the ship they had "seen" what Jesus said, but it was out of focus, badly distorted. They loved Jesus but they had not come to the place where they did more than skim the surface of the relationship available to the Son of God.
Like you and me, the disciples had caught the visual impression on the soul's retina, so they bickered, murmured, were jealous and unkind until, they, like the blind man, were touched anew and cast off their spiritual blindness to see really see-the meaning behind the coming, the teaching, and the victorious death of Jesus Christ. It is the difference between merely making a casual acceptance of Christ's teachings, and taking in what He taught, studying it, and coming to an understanding of God's will and plans for life. It is the difference in living a life of sight in spiritual concern and maturity, or remaining blinded.
It is the difference between seeing ... and really seeing