Chapter

Luke 10:23

ESV Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!
NIV Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, 'Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
NASB Turning to the disciples, He said privately, 'Blessed are the eyes that see the things you see;
CSB Then turning to his disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see the things you see!
NLT Then when they were alone, he turned to the disciples and said, 'Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen.
KJV And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

What does Luke 10:23 mean?

Jesus has finished His prayer thanking the Father that He has chosen to reveal the truth about the Father and the Son to the larger group of disciples (Luke 10:21–22). Now, Jesus emphasizes to the disciples how blessed they are that they receive this privilege. By "see," Jesus means more than simply perceiving with one's eyes. He means to witness, understand, and accept (Matthew 13:15). This is much the same as a person speaking modern English saying, "I see your point" or "I see what you mean."

What the disciples see isn't specifically that they have power over illness and demons (Luke 10:9, 17). Several local cities have seen that power and remain unmoved (Luke 10:13–15). Jesus is more thankful that they understand that Jesus is the Son of God who gave them that power. Also, that Satan has already been conquered and they are ultimately safe from any of the enemy's schemes (Luke 10:17–19). Basically, they see the presence of the kingdom of God in human history (Luke 10:9).

Finally, they see God the Father because they see the Son. Religious leaders in the disciples' time see the Son and declare His power comes from Satan (Mark 3:22). Prophets and kings from long ago longed to see God's work of salvation and had only promises (Hebrews 11; 1 Peter 1:10–12). The author of Hebrews wrote of the Old Testament saints, "And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect" (Hebrews 11:39–40).

The reference to eyes that see is part of a larger illustration that runs throughout the history of Israel. The Israelites who were delivered from Egypt and their children witnessed God's miraculous provision, but still didn't understand what it meant (Deuteronomy 29:2–4). In Isaiah's day, God warned Judah that because of their refusal to live as if He is their God, they would continue to see and hear but not understand. It was past time for them to repent, and judgment, in the form of the Babylonian exile, was inevitable (Isaiah 6:9–10). The hardships of judgment continued during the exile in both Jerusalem and Babylon (Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2).

The same type of hardened hearts led Jesus to speak in parables. Only those who really listened and trusted Him would discover the meaning of His teaching (Matthew 13:10–17). God chose the meek of the world who did not rely on their own understanding to reveal the truth (Luke 10:21–22).
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