Scripture Focus: Acts 28.25-28
25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “ ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
Reflection: Seeing And Believing
By Rev. John Paul Davis
In a Special Edition of Scientific American Magazine, Sharon Guynup asks, “Is Seeing Believing?” Her article addresses how sensory illusions shape our reality.
Acts 28 documents the latter stages of Paul’s ministry. After approximately 28 years of rejection from Jewish leaders and followers, 28 years of debates among false apostles, 28 years of preaching and teaching to Gentile believers, and 28 years of hardships, trials, persecutions, and slanderous accusations, Paul now finds himself under house arrest, in Rome. Yet, he remains committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If seeing is believing, why was it so difficult for many Jews to accept Jesus as the manifestation of the Law and the Prophets after seeing and hearing of Jesus’s resurrection? If seeing is believing, why did many Gentile converts revert back to their previous ways of idolatry after seeing and hearing of Paul’s miraculous healing abilities (Acts 20.7-12)? If seeing is believing, why was it not evident to many that Paul experienced a life-transforming event so dramatic that he changed his name and ceased being a Christian-despising Pharisee to become a humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Saul claimed to have had a unique and personal experience with Jesus, which transformed him and thus his life. One could venture to say the truth lies in the fact that it is our personal experiences (what we encounter) and not our senses (what we see or hear) that shape our realities! So then, the question for us to answer is what personal experience have we had with Jesus that points to a transformative experience in our lives today? If there is none, try praying for someone, meditating on a bible verse, or even taking a moment to reflect on the good in your life. It just may be that reading or hearing the Word of God may not be enough to believe in Jesus as the Son of God. We need to show people Jesus.
Father God, I pray that every reader of this devotional will have the opportunity to confess to others your life-changing abilities in having Jesus Christ as Lord over their lives so that others may continue to see and believe through their actions and behaviors that you are the God of all creation and there is no other like you! Amen!
Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heaven where no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it. For where your treasure is, there is where your heart will be too.” — Luke 12.33-34
Jeremiah 4 (Listen -5:23)
Acts 28 (Listen – 4:56)
Read more about The Shema and The Lord’s Prayer
Shema implies not just hearing words but carrying them out. In The Lord’s Prayer, action is also implied.