Episode 397 – Choose to Believe

When Christ healed the man born blind, many refused to believe. It was easier to think the man was never blind, than to believe he was healed by God. Without desire to believe, we will refuse even to believe what we see with our own eyes. When we choose to believe our eyes, then we will change our lives to live with God.

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My brothers and sisters, in this morning’s gospel, we hear yet another miracle from Christ and this time it revolves around sight. He healed a man who was born blind. Now according to the gospel, this had never been done before and the entire crowd knew this man had been born blind. He was sitting there begging year after year, day after day, and Christ comes and he heals him and then suddenly the crowd has amnesia. “Is this the man we used to see? No, he just looks like him.” Because they couldn’t wrap their minds around the healing miracle of Christ. They knew that he had been born blind, they knew he could now see, but because they didn’t want to believe who Jesus Christ really was, it was easier for them to think that it wasn’t the man himself or that it was the man, but that he had been lying all these years about his blindness. Because they didn’t want to believe in Jesus Christ. Think about that.

How many times do we go through our life and we know something is true about God, we know that God has said something and that it was easier for us to pretend God didn’t say it than for us to believe it? Because if we believe something, then we have to act upon it. The belief changes the way we live. It’s interesting. So today is the final Sunday of Pascha, and I’m remembering all the way to the Sunday of Thomas, Thomas who said, “I will not believe unless I see.” Here we have the crowd saying “We see, but we still don’t believe.” Because they had no desire to believe and to see.

Our modern society, my brothers and sisters, is going down a very dangerous path. Our society is filled with more and more examples of things that we cannot believe our own eyes. Lately in the news, all of the coverage of AI and the way that people are being fooled, and the Photoshop and the this and the that, even our infatuation as a society with transgenderism, we are training our society to not believe our own eyes. Think about how dangerous that is. I believe that all these things in our society that are training us not to believe what we see is the work of the Devil because the Devil knows that Jesus Christ is going to return and the Devil knows that every human being is going to see him coming down from Heaven. But if they have convinced us not to believe what we see, then will we believe it is Christ coming down from Heaven? Or will we be like the crowd in this morning’s gospel, refusing to believe in him? It is really that simple. We choose to believe and we choose to see.

In this morning’s gospel, Christ says, “You see and you do not believe.” Here, this young man believed and Christ healed him. This is our day, my brothers and sisters. This is our time. This is our time to not reject Christ just because it is easier to remain in our own delusion. We can believe our eyes when we see God’s love. We can believe our eyes when we see His grace. Why do you think our churches are decorated with such amazing beauty? Because when we come into the church, we can see God’s love, but do we believe it? Do we believe it enough to allow it to change our life, or are we going to be like the crowd in this morning’s gospel and choose to remain in our sin, choose to remain in our delusion? The choice is ours to make.

God has revealed himself to us. We have been singing and proclaiming his resurrection and his witness now almost 40 days. Thursday is the Feast of Ascension. The church has been the witness to seeing God with our eyes for more than 2,000 years. So much so that the church insists it is not an option, insists on having icons of Jesus Christ to prove to the world that he was seen on the Earth. Let’s choose faith, let’s choose belief, and now let us be his witnesses going forth. It says in the gospel, this young man, after Christ fully revealed himself to this young man, he said, he went on glorifying God. He was a living witness to seeing God. We have seen God and now let us be his witnesses going forth to our friends, to our neighbors, to our family members maybe who have fallen away from the church. Because when you look upon God, you are looking upon grace and love. Christ is risen.

Episode 397 – Choose to Believe

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