What You See Is What You Get

The following is an up-dated 2003 essay on the topic on perspective, as seen from a very different perspective.

©2017 Bill Murphy

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‘What you see is what you get’ is considered an honest and positive statement. We use this expression in describing someone with no facades, one who is genuine and real. It’s also used (from the seller’s viewpoint) in truthful and honest advertising. eBay sellers use photographs to show exactly what is being offered – nothing less, and nothing more.

Thankfully, God has blessed us with many merciful ‘warning signs‘ to guide us along the path of life. He brings to our attention that we should never trust our eyes in every situation.

Matthew 13:54-58 (NIV) gives us this amazing account from Jesus’ ministry:  Coming to his hometown, he  began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

The people believed what the saw with their eyes. The believed they saw a hometown chap returning home.  But in truth, there was far more than just human sight (and reasoning) at stake here! Their very SAVIOR was in their midst, yet they failed to see Him as such.

The people of Jesus’ own home town only saw Him as they had seen Him up until the time of the beginning of His earthly ministry. Their eyes saw Him as a common man, and not as the most uncommon Son of God! They choose to believe their eyes, and not what He was trying to reveal to them.

What people saw was what they got!  Just a common man.

We are taught to trust in our eyes. But we place in them far too much trust. Law enforcement tells us that eye witness accounts are notoriously unreliable. Magicians would be out of work if they couldn’t fool us into believe what we think we’re seeing.

It all boils down to this simple fact: When we place our trust in our physical eyes, we run the hazard of being fooled and mis-led. We should be led by the Spirit and not the flesh, and we can only do this when we see through Spiritual eyes.