Part 1 Bible Study for W.C.M. Interactive
By Pastor Shana Wise
We often go to get our hearing and vision checked, because if we cannot see or hear well, it can affect our everyday living and task. We can misread or see things blurry if our vision is impaired. We cannot hear and receive words correctly if we cannot hear properly.
During these challenging times, we must see and hear in the Spirit. If not, everything that comes our way, we will receive it distorted. With so many messages (signals) that we get, daily, our spiritual senses need to be balanced through the Word of God.
Our response to what is going on will reflect how well we see and hear Jesus through his Holy Spirit. In the natural, we think that our vision and hearing are well until we go see the doctor. The test determines how well we see and hear. Often, we are surprised because we thought, before we went, that everything is good, however, when the test comes back, the doctor has to give us tools, like hearing aids or glasses, to help us realign balance in our senses.
Like the doctor, God will test us (vision and hearing), in the Spirit, through adversity and various situations, and our response will determine if we need “realigning” (with His word) or not.
Let us examine the scriptures as it relates to our vision and hearing.
How can we see Him if we are not looking?
How can we hear him if we are not listening?
Do You See Him? If So, what is Your Response?
John the Baptist
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:32-34 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
· John the Baptist's response to seeing Jesus was that he publicly proclaimed that Jesus was the Lamb of God and the Son of God. He had been spending time with God before he met Jesus, and God told him what he would see would signify who Jesus was-the Messiah that he had been preparing a way for. When he witnesses the Holy Spirit resting on Jesus after the baptism, he knew and believed in Him. Due to his belief by seeing (in the Spirit) Jesus for himself, it caused him to lead others to follow Christ.
· What was your response the last time you saw Jesus? John had called him the Lamb of God and the Son of God. Who do you see Jesus as today?
John 20:14-17 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”
· Mary represents us who have been walking for him for many years (relationship), but when hopelessness happens through grief, it clouds our vision and hearing of Jesus. This Christian walk does not promise that we will never experience hardships, and grief through death, however, it does the promise of Hope through Jesus Christ.
· Jesus had been dead for three days, and by this time Mary Magdalene countenance was a state of grief. When she saw Jesus, she could not recognize him or his voice, until he called her name. Isn’t it awesome, how all of our grief can be dried up in an instant when Jesus calls our name? Meaning when our soul, not our emotions, connects with His voice, our whole perspective, countenance, attitude, and spiritual senses changes instantly. This is what happened in Mary’s case when Jesus called her name, her soul responded. When our soul responds, it has the power to override our feelings and emotions, then and only then are we able to see (Jesus) (in the Spirit).
· When was the last time God called your name? Or, when was the last time you saw Jesus beyond your feelings and emotions? What was that experience like?
Thomas the Disciple
John 20:24-29, Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
· Many of us are like the disciple Thomas. We can “hear” about the Word (Jesus) but, we don’t believe it unless we can see it, in the natural, manifest before our eyes. Thomas had been serving in ministry with Jesus for three years, but like Mary Magdalene, he was not only in grief, but the grief had caused him to lose faith in ever seeing Jesus again. When he got the word from the other disciples that Jesus had risen, his response was an indicator of his deficit in his spiritual senses. Thomas refused to believe unless he could “physically see and touch” the evidence (Jesus' body) of the crucifixion. Thomas needed physical proof to believe in the risen Savior of the World.
· Thomas represents the believer that can “be around Jesus”, but they always need proof that is Word is true. Thomas's vision (in the Spirit) could not help his hearing, because he received the news of Jesus’ resurrection by the testimony of the other disciples. Due to his spiritual vision being poor, he could not receive by “hearing” the good news. His physical sense, through sight, was driving his faith. When Thomas saw the evidence of Christ, then he believed, however, Christ wants us to get to the place in him to believe without seeing (vs. 29). Romans 10:17, So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
· What is preventing you from believing God at his Word? Are you like Thomas, and need to see it to believe it? What areas of your life do you need God to help you with concerning your faith?
John 21:1-12 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord.
· Once again, we find Jesus doing a check-up on the disciples’ vision and hearing. Jesus is constantly creating situations and circumstances in our lives to challenge us to see, hear, and respond in the Spirit. However, we get wrapped up in ourselves, sometimes we can miss Jesus when he is right in our face.
· Examine the text, and write out what you get from it concerning the disciple’s vision and hearing. Also, how does this relate to you and the body of Christ?
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About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election (available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.