Believing Is Seeing
Text: Luke 4:14-30 | Listen to Message
Faith First, Then Sight
When Jesus returned to his hometown as an adult, he had some explaining to do! If he was really the Messiah – as he was beginning to claim – then why did he have such an ordinary upbringing? Where’d he been hiding his powers for the past 30 years? What proof was he willing to give to convince people that he was who he said he was?
Those who questioned Jesus like this were good, law-keeping Jews. They believed the Bible. They faithfully worshiped God at the local synagogue. They taught their kids to do the same. So it just seemed reasonable to them that, if Jesus was going to claim to be God’s Anointed One, he was going to have to prove himself to them.
But Jesus flipped the whole conversation on its head. His religious friends were saying, “Seeing is believing, Jesus! You show us some hard core evidence and then we’ll believe you.” But Jesus says, “No, that’s not how faith works. You need to believe and then you will see.”
Jesus goes on to give two examples of Gentiles who believed first, and then saw the grace that had been offered to them. These two lived at opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum. One was a poor widow woman on the brink of starvation and the other was a commander in the Syrian army.
When Elijah came to the widow of Zarephath, she was gathering sticks to light a fire to bake a little cake of oil and flour. She would eat it with her son – and then they would die. Incredibly, Elijah said, “Make the cake for me instead. Feed me first. And if you believe, God will never allow your flour and oil to run out the rest of your lives.” Though she saw nothing, she acted in faith – and her faith became sight.
When Elisha spoke to Naaman, he had a problem that his power and authority could not fix: he was dying of leprosy. Elisha said, “Go wash in the Jordan River seven times and you’ll be made whole again.” Though he saw nothing, he acted in faith – and his faith became sight.
It’s natural and it’s easy to test God – to demand that He prove Himself. But He already has. He created everything you see. He sent His Son to die on a cross for your sins. He raised His Son from the dead and showed him to hundreds of people. He gave His Word, with dozens and dozens of fulfilled and reliable promises. There’s nothing left for God to prove. We simply need to take Him at His word and trust Him. And for those who do, one day our faith will become sight – and it’ll be greater than anything we could ever imagine!