Knowledge Affects Perception

So, our job is to teach.

Acts 24:22–26

But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.” So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.

And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.

Hoping for a bribe from Paul is both wrong and clueless. So, Felix obviously doesn’t have Christian eyes.

But he does have something—more accurate knowledge of the Way. This causes him to take Paul seriously, though ineptly, and to treat him much better than normal prisoners are treated.

Felix needs to command the centurion, “to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.” Centurions can be very abusive.

So, this isn’t an example of Christian eyes, but it displays one of the principles underlying Christian eyes—knowledge affects perception.

Learning about the kingdom of heaven is the first step in developing Christian eyes.

So, our job is to teach.

You might teach unbelievers about the basics of the gospel.

You might teach believers how to see everything in terms of the kingdom.

You might teach children the stories of how things unfolded.

All of these are on the path to Christian eyes.

But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’ ”
— Mark 4:10–12

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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