There’s a show on television that I find intriguing. It’s called “Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.” Basically its a guy who pretty much explains how every “magic trick” or illusion is done. How you make an elephant disappear? How do you walk through a steel wall? How do you levitate? How do you impale the pretty assistant on an iron spike and have her end up being just fine? This guy shows it all. And I eat it up with a spoon. I’ve never been a real fan of magic tricks or illusionists. I’m embarassed for guys who take being so silly so seriously. So, needless to say that when someone comes up to me and says, “Pick a card.” I say, “No.” Because we all know that look. The look they give after they’re done doing that trick. The look that says, “I know how to do a card trick and you don’t.” To me, it’s very similar to the look that says, “Punch me.”
So, this TV show is kind of like showing behind the scenes at Disney World. The result is that the sense of magic and wonder is gone, but its still kind of fun.
I’m guessing all other illusionists hate him. That’s probably why he wears a mask.
Jesus had a lot of followers who were only there to “see the show.” We’re not sure how many came for that reason, but we do know that many were changed once they realized that this was no magic, no slight of hand, no illusion at all. Jesus’ power wasn’t dependent on a stage hand just out of camera shot who pulled the cable on cue. Jesus’ power was and is from His identity as God.
And so as crowds came, crowds believed. Word spread. More came. More believed. But in John 20 Jesus says something interesting and it actually has something to do directly with you and me.
These words were spoken by Jesus to Thomas (called Didymus), after Thomas saw Jesus with his physical sight and only after did he believe that Jesus had risen from the dead:
John 20:29: Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
I remember laying in bed one night and talking to God about how I really wanted to see Him. Not someday, but right then, in my room. I know it sounds really ridiculous, but that’s okay. I’m kind of ridiculous with God sometimes. I remember being there in my bed and trying to explain to God that if I could just see some kind of physical something-or-other, then I would REALLY be able to believe Him hardcore. It was essentially a “show up in this room and I’ll be even more convinced” kind of thing. It was essentially (in hindsight) the words of Thomas. The one we affectionately still know as “Doubting Thomas”.
But when I read John 20:29, Jesus called me “blessed”. The Greek word is “makarioi”, and its an adjective. The “blessed” is a descriptor for anyone today who has not seen Jesus with their physical eyes, but yet know who He is and call Him Lord because of their spiritual eyes. The word blessed means “supremely blest, fortunate, well off.”
So, as it turns out the prayer I prayed in my bed that night so long ago was a naive request at the time, but God answering “no” actually kept me in the camp of those who are “supremely blest, fortunate, and well off.”