by Archibald Alexander
"Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see,"
said our Savior; "for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired
to see those things which you see, and have not seen them, and to hear those
things which you hear, and have not heard them."
What things did the disciples see and hear which prophets
and kings desired to see and were not gratified? They saw the seed of the
woman, predicted in paradise to bruise the old serpent's head. They saw the
person who was to descend from Abraham, in whom all the families of the
earth should be blessed. They saw the Lamb of God, whom Isaac so strikingly
typified, when he was laid upon the altar to be sacrificed. God did not
allow the stroke to fall upon Isaac, but he did not withhold the sword of
justice when his own Son stood in the stead of sinners; but said, "Awake, O
sword, against the man who is my fellow—smite the shepherd."
They saw Shiloh, to whom was to be the gathering of the
people. They saw Messiah, the prophet whom God promised to raise up, like
unto Moses—the King-Messiah, whom God promised to sit upon his holy hill of
power. They saw the Priest whom God swore that he would raise, not after the
order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek.
They saw Immanuel, the wonderful child, who had the
government on his shoulders. The branch from the root of Jesse and stem of
David, whose kingdom was to be everlasting. They saw the "Word made flesh."
"God manifest in the flesh." The eternal Son of God, the brightness of his
glory, and express image of his person. They saw the stupendous and
beneficent miracles wrought by Jesus, in the healing of all manner of
diseases by a word or a touch, and even at a distance. They saw him give
sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and life to the dead. They were
witnesses of his power over the elements in commanding the winds and the sea
to be still--and these boisterous elements obeyed him. Also when he
multiplied a few loaves and fish, so as to feed thousands of hungry people,
they were the dispensers of his bounty to the multitude, and gathered up of
fragments, after the feast was over, vastly more bread than was originally
They saw the "Man of sorrows," whose visage was marred
more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. They saw the Lord
of glory, to whom belonged the world and the fullness thereof--so poor, that
while the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air nests, he had nowhere to
lay his head. And soon after these words were spoken, they saw the Prince of
life dying between two thieves, as though he had been a chief malefactor.
Yes, they saw the author of life expire in death, and laid in the grave a
pale and lifeless corpse. But soon they saw that tomb empty, and were
permitted to see the Savior risen to life, in the same body. They inspected
the wounds in his hands, his feet, and his side. They saw him transformed,
so that he ascended to heaven before their eyes, in like manner as he will
be seen when he makes his second appearance. All these were sights which
prophets and kings desired to see, but saw them not.
And their ears were also blessed. The ear is an organ
expressly blessed of God, for "faith comes by hearing." The word of God
commonly goes into the heart through the ear, rather than through the eye.
The apostles heard Jesus preach, who spoke as never man spoke. They heard
the gracious words which proceeded from his mouth. They heard the sermon on
the mount. They heard all his striking and beautiful parables, and their
lucid explanation. They heard his kind inculcations and gracious promises,
his prayers and his predictions. They heard what made their hearts burn
But men may be blessed who have not seen, but have
believed. As our Lord said to Thomas, "Thomas, because you have seen me, you
have believed. Blessed are they that have not seen--and yet have believed."