Daily Devotion for April 10, 2021

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. (Luke 24:36b-43, NRSV)

Blind spots, we all have them.  Often we don’t know we have them, but if we knew about them they probably wouldn’t be blind spots!  We each see the world in our own unique ways, based on an interesting combination of what we have experienced, what we believe, what we think we know, and our perspective.  I remember a psychology class I had in college where a matrix of thirty different shades of red were displayed, each individually numbered, and then a single red tile was presented beside the matrix.  Students were asked to match the single tile to its exact color in the matrix.  In a class of twenty-two people, nineteen different matches were made – we were all looking at exactly the same thing and we saw nineteen different things!

There are times in life when we simply cannot believe our own eyes because what we see makes no sense to us.  It challenges what we believe or “know” to be true.  It defies all our experience.  It is something we have never seen before.  This must have been the reality for the twelve disciples, even though Jesus told them multiple times he would return from the dead.  They could not believe their own senses.  Even following the resurrection of Lazarus, it was not reality that the dead should live again.
In our modern, scientific era, we are too sophisticated, too smart, too worldly to believe in resurrection.  It simply cannot happen. It is physically impossible.  It is irrational and unreasonable.  We are simply too intelligent to believe in such miracles.  Yet, this is the foundation of faith.  That which transcends our knowledge and experience is always within the power of God.

There is such a thing as being too smart for one’s own good.  Even with our scientific advancements and understanding, miracle abound all around us.  The more we know about astronomy, physics, biology, artificial intelligence, and technology, the more amazing and intricate is the whole creation.  We are growing more and more capable to explain what is, but we still stand in the mystery of where everything came from and why. 

Many things are true and real whether we believe in them or not.  We declare our belief in God, not because we can prove God empirically, but because the evidence of God through the lives and experience of billions of people validates our faith.  Should God appear in the clouds, many of us who are firm believers would probably doubt our eyes or perhaps not see God at all.  Why?  Because we have blind spots that sometimes prevent us from seeing with our eyes what we know to be true in our hearts.  In this way, we are very much like the first disciples who walked closely with Jesus, but couldn’t recognize or believe in him when he returned.

Prayer:  Gracious God, open our eyes that we might see beyond the limits of our reason and experience.  Help us remove the lenses that block our vision and prevent us from fully seeing your miraculous presence in our world.  Allow us to see one another as you see us.  We pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.