Beyond the Words

Julie Jin | April 22, 2022

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Luke 24:45–53

I love optical illusions. In the early  ‘90s, I was obsessed with Magic Eye, a book packed with two-dimensional patterns that had three-dimensional images hidden within them—which I have since learned are called autostereograms. At first glance, these autostereograms look like busy, patterned wallpaper. However, if you can train your eyes to stop focusing on the patterns and look beyond them, you are rewarded with the ability to see incredible images that you didn’t realize were there all along.

This is what Jesus did for His disciples. He opened their spiritual eyes to see beyond the boundaries of their physical world. Once He taught them how to see and they suspended their disbelief, the disciples understood the outline of God’s redemptive plan that had been there all along—something that could only be seen through the lens that is Jesus Christ.

God continues to open our minds today. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we each have the ability to choose sight and understanding. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit helps us see beyond the words of Scripture to its deeper meaning. As 1 Corinthians 2:9–10 says, “‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.” 

Like the autostereograms, our lives are filled with patterns of busyness that keep us from seeing the true image of God and His purpose for our lives. But unlike the autostereograms, the truth that the Holy Spirit enlightens for us is no optical illusion. It has the power to forgive sins and breathe new life.

Next Steps

  • What disbelief might you be willing to explore or even let go of this week so that you can learn more about Jesus?
  • Is there a portion of Scripture that is either particularly easy or hard for you to understand? What would it look like to invite the Holy Spirit to help you look at it in a fresh way?

21 Days of Prayer

God, may my mind be opened to how You are speaking to me through Your Scripture. Help me be a witness to others of the good news of Jesus and be filled with Your Holy Spirit for the one-of-a-kind calling You have for me. (Luke 24:45–52)