2 Cor. 4:3-4 "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
I have often heard people say, if only I could have been on the mountain, if only I had been with Jesus, then I could believe. Sounds good on the surface, but there is something fundamentally wrong with it. Whatís wrong? Well, is seeing - believing? If you went to a magic show, would you believe that the magician pulled a rabbit out of his hat, or sawed the woman in half, or pulled a quarter out of your ear? And if you saw those things, and donít believe, then what does it take? Oh, you knew it was an illusion all the time... then how do you know what to believe?
It is a good thing to see Jesus. It is a good thing to believe. It is good to hear of his glory, and to know that he is true God, true man and our Savior. How is it that we see Jesus? Chiefly we see him in His Word, the Bible. We see Jesus in the word that announces that our sins are forgiven. We see Jesus as we daily remember our baptism, and the new creation that was worked in us by water and the Word. We see Jesus as we hear his Word. We may not see Jesus with our eyes, but we do see Jesus through the eyes of faith. It is by faith that we behold a glimpse of the glory of God.
The clear seeing eyes of faith are a great gift, especially in this world. For in this world many people have eyes to see and do not see, they have ears to hear, but do not hear. You might ask who blinded all these people? Our text has the answer - "the god of this world". But who is "the god of this world"? And why would he do such things? Once you know that Satan is the "the god of this world" - you see he is not a real god, for he is only a fallen angel. And then it begins to make sense that this world is the way it is, for Satanís work is to try and undo all of Godís good work of creation; and bring it all to destruction.
And once you see what Satan is doing, why would you listen to him? Why would you follow him, if you knew his goal was to put your eyes out and to leave you blind? But the greater question, is what is Satan working so hard to prevent us from seeing? And that our text answers - "t o keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." Satan doesnít want anyone to see the light of the gospel. Satan doesnít want anyone to see the glory of Christ. Satan doesnít want anyone to see the image of God. Because if they saw only a little, they would see that Satan is no God. If they only saw a little, they would never leave the free gift of God in Jesus Christ which is our salvation. But Satan desires that we cannot see, so that we may perish along with him.
And if we are to be wise, it would be good to know how it is that Satan is working to blind us. For it begins very simply, and Satan is a good illusionist, who by misdirection would take from us our salvation. It begins with the simple word "I". He plants the simple thought in our mind - "What would I like to do today." And then misdirects us so that we either worry about all that we have to do, and how we will not be able to do what we want; or we lament about how we have nothing to do. Anything so that we cannot rejoice, that this is the day the Lord has made. Anything so that we cannot rejoice and be glad of the good news of salvation which is ours in Christ. Anything so that we can accuse God of not caring, for if he really cared he would give us what we want. Satan will do anything so that we are not satisfied, and the misdirect us so that we blame God for everything that is wrong. But the things that are wrong with the world, are the things that are the results of sin. Sin is the reason why there is sickness, suffering and death. Sin is the cause of all the evil. And the only thing Satan is furiously working for, is so that no one can hear or see that Jesus is the cure for all this worlds ills.
And so we begin each day, for thanking God for this day, knowing that God has placed us hear and now for a purpose, and asking God, "What would you have me do with this day that you have given me?" Knowing that when we do, all things will work together for good, and our days will be filled with good things. And it is in these lives that are centered, not around self, but around God, that the world which is perishing sees the glory of the healing gospel alive in our lives, and they come to us, begging - tell us more about Jesus.