SermonSeeing Without Understanding
An all-creatures Bible Message

Seeing Without Understanding
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
9 June 2019
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

John 14:8-17
Acts 18:1-17

Seeing without understanding is really quite common among most people in the world around us, and may even apply to us some of the time.
We may see wildflowers growing in a field or along the side of the road, but unless we look closely at them, we may never understand or perceive the intricate details that God created into them.
The same holds true when we behold animals; we may be seeing without understanding them, or we may see some as companions or pets and others as food.
We may even deeply love our companion animals, but at the same time eat other animals, without ever understanding that they are living souls just as we humans are, with most of the same feelings and emotions.
We do the same thing with our Bibles; we see the books without understanding the contents or meanings that the passages hold for us.
And in John 14:8-17, we have an example of someone seeing without understanding who Jesus was and isÖ

8. Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."

Philip was seeing without understanding even though he had been with Jesus for some time.

9. Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father'?
10. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

Perhaps this is the problem with most of Christianity today; Christians are seeing without understanding the totality of loving God with every aspect of our being, which includes Jesus and the whole of His creation, every other human being, and every animal, and the environment in which we all live.

11. "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves.
12. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.

And we strongly believe that these greater works are spreading Godís unconditional love way beyond what Jesus was able to do while He was incarnate upon this earth; and if we look around the world with all its pain and suffering, we know that this is not happening with all believers.

13. "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
15. "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

What about the commandment in Genesis 1:29, where we are told to eat only the plant foods that God created for us to eat?
And what about where we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves, and if we look around us, we should see that many of the animals are also our neighbors?
What about where we are told not to kill or murder, and yet as a society, we plan to kill other humans and animals?
And have we forgotten that we are to bring Godís heavenly will, where there is no pain or suffering or death, to earth as it is in heaven?
Are we seeing without understanding that all of these things apply to us today as much as when Jesus told us that if we love Him we will love His commandments?
Maybe that problem is that most people, including most Christians, donít really love Jesus as much as the claim they do.

16. "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
17. that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you

And as born again Christians, we are to have the Holy Spirit within us, and the Holy Spirit will help us live in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven, that is, if we are listening and not seeing without understanding, for the Holy Spirit will also help us understand.
We have found that some passages of the Bible have been omitted from the church lectionaries; such a passage is Acts 18:1-17, but there is a wealth of spiritual knowledge contained within these passages that deserve to be a part of sermons; these are passages that most people are seeing without understanding.

1. After these things he [Paul] left Athens and went to Corinth.
2. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,

Even to this present day, there are corrupt people in government who are prejudice or like to scapegoat certain groups of people for political or other reasons, for they believe they are untouchable by them, which is the case with the people who exploit and even kill billions of animals and millions of humans every year.
They are seeing without understanding, or they are deliberately turning their backs on the truth in order to pursue the evil and corrupt ways of this world with all its violence.

3. and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers.

This is where the expression tent-making ministry came from; because Paul earned his own way instead of relying on donations.
Even to this present day, there are people in ministry who earn their own way and volunteer their time in ministry, and they are also often referred to as tent-making ministers, which I have been to this very day.
The only reasons that we can find that this passage may not be taught more openly may be that the vast majority of people in religious ministry are being paid, and they donít want anyone to question their motives for being in the ministry.

4. And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

He wanted them to hear the good news about Jesus Christ, and by not seeking donations for his ministry, Paul was more convincing for people would not think he was saying things because he was being paid to say the things he did.

5. But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

This passage seems to be telling us that with Silasí and Timothyís help, Paul was able to stop working to earn a living and was able to devote his full time to the ministry of telling people about the good news about Jesus Christ.
This is also telling us that there is a place for both paid and unpaid ministers in Christianity.

6. And when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads! I am clean. From now on I shall go to the Gentiles."

This is an insult against the unbelieving Jews for their rejection of the message that Paul was trying to teach them, for Jews, by custom, did not associate with the Gentiles [non-Jews].

7. And he departed from there and went to the house of a certain man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue.

We are left with this passage dangling because we are not given an answer as to why it is here or who Titius Justus was, but from other sources we learn that he was the one who invited Paul and company into his home to teach when he could no longer gather in the synagogue; and it is in his home that the Corinthian church is believed to have begun.

8. And Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.

We are also not told about any connection between Titius Justus and Crispus but the mentioning of them in adjacent verses seems to express that there was a relationship of some sort which brought Crispus to the Lord, and expresses the fact that at least some of the Jews believed, even one of their leaders.
This also means that not everyone was seeing without understanding.
And this seems to have set the stage for the expansion of the ministry in Corinth.

9. And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
10. for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city. " 
11. And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Thus the Christian ministry and church were born in and around Corinth, but as all of us know far too well, evil never sleeps.

12. But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
13. saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."

This is nothing but mob rule, which is of the devil and not of God.

14. But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you;
15. but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters." 
16. And he drove them away from the judgment seat.

At least the judge seems to have seen their real intent.

17. And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. And Gallio was not concerned about any of these things.

Just because the judge wouldnít listen to the peopleís complaint, which was probably because he saw their true intent, the people had to blame someone else, so they picked on Sosthenes, which to us is the same kind of things that people do when they are scapegoating other people or animals.
The people who scapegoat others, whether human or animal, are not spiritually connected to God or His heavenly will; they are following the corrupt and evil ways of the devil and his minions.
We are not to be like them.
We are to be the children of God who live in His heavenly will; thus, they are never seeing without understanding, for the Holy Spirit prompts them to see and understand the truth.

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