Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Luke 10:23-24)
Jesus made it a point to privately tell His disciples this, that they are blessed to see and that the things they are witnessing are what the prophets and kings of old desired to see and hear but didn’t live to see and hear it in this lifetime. The time of Jesus’ earthly ministry was unique. It was a period of 33 years in which God dwelt among men in the flesh and experienced life as we do in human form. It was a time of fulfilling many, many prophecies, it was a time of a new covenant, it was a time of mysteries revealed, and it was a time of redemption.
It’s doubtful the twelve disciples truly understood exactly what Jesus was saying here, because they themselves hadn’t fully grasped all that entailed in Jesus being Messiah. They heard the things He said, but some of the things were hidden from them and they wouldn’t piece together the significance and fulfillment of prophecies until later on when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
We can look at the disciples in hindsight and agree, they were very blessed to walk and talk with Jesus, to learn from Him face to face and come alongside Him in His ministry. I can only imagine how King David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Zechariah, Daniel, Abraham, and even all the way back to Moses – the way they would long to see the fruition of what was prophesied and promised, yet died not ever seeing or hearing it.
Now in fast forwarding all the way to 2023, the Church that Jesus established also didn’t get to see it with our own eyes, hear it with our own ears, and yet we read firsthand experiences in the gospels and can now see the prophesies of the Old Testament and the fulfillment in the New Testament, all within the palms of our hands and bound in one book. So, while the prophets of old longed to see and hear, they were not serving themselves, they were serving us. That is a huge blessing!
But we as the Church are also blessed in another area that Jesus mentioned in when Doubting Thomas was able to touch and see Jesus’ nail pierced hands and side, in which he made a declaration of his belief - Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Peter also in his first epistle, wrote to the Christians in the Dispersion, Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
The blessings may look a little different between the prophets, twelve disciples, and us now, but the foundation of all three is Jesus. The prophets spoke of the future of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and Him being our salvation; the disciples witnessed the fulfillment of those prophecies and got to spend time with Jesus in the flesh; and we get the benefit of having the entire cannon of Scripture in which the Holy Spirit teach us, and can have a very close and intimate relationship with Jesus at any time or place. We may even get to be amongst those whom get raptured by Jesus. Even if not, we have salvation in Him and we await the day when we can see, hear, and worship Him face to face. O what a glorious day that will be!
In continuing in the last two weeks’ theme of rejoicing – we rejoice because our names are written in heaven, we rejoice in the Holy Spirit with a great joy, and we are blessed in believing though we have not seen. Look up, my sibling in Christ, because our faithful Bridegroom, Jesus, is coming back for us soon!