Spiritual Senses

January 21, 2022

Scripture Resource Passage: Matthew 3

Passing a vision test allows me to purchase a license and drive a car. Good vision keeps me from running into furniture and people. As with the ability to hear without distortion, seeing clearly is a blessing.

When John saw and heard Jesus, the Presence was precise. No mirage or distorted sound clouded John’s understanding. John exclaims, “…Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)!

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

Our brother Matthew records John encountering Jesus and provides this account:Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:13-14).

John’s passionate understanding is without reservation. He accurately recognizes the teacher, the man from Nazareth-town. Indeed, people say, “John attaches all his hopes and dreams to this Nazarene.”

While today’s disciples do not hear that voice, or see Jesus alongside Jordan, we are enabled to hear and see the Presence (Psalm 19). The words of Maltbie D. Babcock testify as a disciple who heard and saw in creation the surety of God’s gift and our hope. He wrote:

“This is my Father’s world, and to my list’ning ears,
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.”  

Life Applications

Do you find your hope strengthened or challenged during winter?

What parts of life give you hope?

What circumstances in life diminish your ability to live hopefully?

One of Maltbie D. Babcock’s friends, Franklin Shepherd (1852-1930) adapted an English folk song inserting portions of Babcock’s text into three, eight-line stanzas. The original poem was composed in 16 four-line stanzas, each beginning with “This is my Father’s world.” The hymn in this form first appeared in the composer’s hymnal Alleluia… a Presbyterian Sunday school book published in 1915. Resource: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/

Thank you for reading. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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