Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
Luke 10 vs 23,24. “Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
At this point Jesus is still speaking not to the twelve disciples, but to the larger group of people he had sent out on a preaching mission. Here Jesus explains the privilege that belongs to these people.
There were devout Kings of the Old Testament and fiery prophets who served the Lord zealously, but none of them, while on earth, had ever seen the incarnate Christ. None of them heard his words or witnessed his miracles. “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see”. These Old Testament saints wanted to see what these disciples were seeing. They would have loved to be present when the true Messiah finally arrived and taught the people. But it was not given to them to see it – except by faith. That means they knew He was coming and they rejoiced in that fact.
But this raises the tremendous responsibility that rests on all of us today who now live in the full light of the New Testament revelation. We now have the whole bible. Having a bible in your home is an awesome responsibility. You have the written revelation of God. If you do not read it, if you remain unsaved, that very bible that lies next to your bed will witness against you on the Day of Judgement.
It is true of course that there is much in the bible that is hard to understand, which is why we need the local church, pastoral teachers, and the fellowship of Christians so that we can know and understand the truth. But even so there is much in the bible which is self-evident and easily understandable, if we would only take the trouble to read it properly and prayerfully.
But all these additional privileges we have – churches, pastors, teachers, new translations, bible study groups and a myriad of other things God has given us to assist us to understand his word, only serves to increase our responsibility before him.
Do you use the opportunities God has given you? Do you make excuses not to attend Bible Studies? Does your life simply bumble along spiritually? Maybe the time is now for us to stop, consider our privileges and get our lives in order.