But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:16
Having eyes that see represents more than just physical sight, it is associated with having understanding. It presents a picture of comprehending things as they really are - as God sees them.
Failure to discern or understand is a curse. People in rebellion to God, those who refuse to see Truth, will eventually become blind to it. They will have “eyes that cannot see.”
Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel 12:2
When the disciples missed a key teaching of Jesus, He rebukes them using this language.
Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? Mark 8:17-18
It’s interesting that Mark then immediately records Jesus healing a blind man. Is he connecting those thoughts? Only God heals blindness, physical or spiritual. I’m easily tempted to think I have understanding on my own. That with enough study or experience, life is figured out. My perspective is the right one.
The church in ancient Laodicea may have had this problem. Their medical school had developed an effective eye salve, called Phrygian Powder, which cured many potentially blinding infections. It was likely high in sulfur, predominant in that area, which is still used as an antibiotic today. They were proud of their healing abilities. But in the letter to Laodicea, found in Revelation 3, Jesus tells them that it is He who has “salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”
We are reminded that spiritual understanding comes from God. It is He who blesses us with eyes that see. When He heals our sight, shows us Truth, we see clearly. We see things as they are.
I want always to have eyes that see, leaning not into my own understanding. May God give me sight - that I see the world, my neighbor and the things of God as they are. Lord, give me eyes to see.