The disciples had been with Jesus for quite sometime now; they experienced the miraculous and healing power of the Almighty as Jesus healed the sick, the oppressed and went as far as raising the dead. The Jews will only be convinced when they see a sign that is beyond the human machinations or capacity and it’s at such times, that you’ll have their complete attention. So as Jews (the disciples), they were convinced about the fact that Jesus was truly sent from God.
They had begun to have different perceptions about the Messiah; even the people around Him would also begin to form their perception of Him. An example was the man that was born blind and how his eyes were restored. The parents of the blind man could not express how graceful the Lord had been to them and their son because of the persecution from the Jewish leaders. They couldn’t express their feelings or experience to the extent that they told the leaders to ask their son to narrate the miraculous experience himself.
The second example is the woman that had an issue of blood – she had visited many doctors and instead of her getting better, her sickness grew from bad to worse. She had no choice but to look for the Balm in Gilead; she had no choice but to look for Jesus whom she had heard about. She wouldn’t have looked for Jesus if she didn’t run out of money; she was healed but there was nothing to remind us that she became a follower of Jesus afterwards or maybe she just got healed and left to do her own thing.
One thing was certain; there had been uproar about this new found thing or person called Jesus. He had gotten the attention of the Jewish and Gentile World to the extent that many followed Him day and night. To many, Jesus fed them with good food (John 6); to many He healed their sicknesses and diseases or raised the dead. To many of the Jewish leaders, He had come to take over and hence the hatred, even when they had been informed of His arrival on planet Earth. They all had different perceptions of Him.
Jesus was not careful to ignore the perception of the multitudes but what was important to Him was how His disciples perceived Him. He met with His disciples and asked what they thought people said and perceived Him as. They gave Him so many answers of how some called Him John the Baptizer, some saw Him as Elijah; some perceived Him as Jeremiah or one of the Prophets. One thing was sure from the various perceptions; He was from God even though they all had different perceptions of Him like we do today.
Only Peter gave the correct response about Him based on what he perceived of Him.
Today we have many preachers and teachers (some are false and some are truly sent by God) of the Bible carrying different perceptions of the person of God or His Son, Jesus. I have said this, because the plethora of perceptions and divisions we have today is as a result of the peddling or false proclamation of the Scripture by someone somewhere, which got many of their hearers forming different perceptions about God.
Perception is the arrangement, connection and interpretation of sensory knowledge/information in order to represent and understand the presented information or the environment. In other words, I can form my perception based on what information is presented to me (wrong or right).
Growing up as a Christian, we looked at people who had headache, for example, as people who could not exercise their Faith and this led many to deny their present state because nobody wanted to be seen as less than what they purport to be (Faith Man/Woman). The moment we see someone with a good car for example, we associate the material thing to having and a display of their Faith. So the Christian fight back then, was a struggle to have Faith and not one to just worship God in Spirit and in Truth as specified in the Bible.
We have many disgruntled Christians who have carried some of these wrong perceptions and because things are not working the way they feel or want them to, they begin to lay claims of how good they have been to God and most times some question the existence of God. Little do they know that they are carrying a wrong perception about God – and the last person we want to point fingers at, is US; because we have assumed that we are carrying the right information about God.
Many Christians also believe that the moment any negative circumstance (in their mind) happens around them or to them, they have been taught that it must be the Devil attacking them. Many have spent a bulk of their prayer time binding and losing the Devil to the extent that our prayers are inadvertently deemed incomplete when some arrows are not fired at the Devil. This is a resultant consequence of the perception we have about the way God deals with issues around us.
Perceptions can also be negative. Shame is a wasted sensibility because shame is an attachment to self-perception that has been fostered by the perceptions and opinions of others. Paul declared he was not ashamed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. He did not give into negative perceptions formed by the opinion of others that were around him.
Many have held other perceptions today just like the Jews did even when the much-awaited Messiah came around. They refused Him maybe because they felt He shouldn’t have appeared the way He did. They were educated by the so many Prophets who came to pave the way yet they were averse at the very person they were expecting.
Many are angry today because they feel God is a God of favoritism and that He has refused to look their way or answered their prayers. Many have stopped following Him due to the many challenges and frustrations they have been overwhelmed with and they have reached a point of no return and they’ve had to look elsewhere for answers.
Very few have thought about having a mind readjustment even when it comes to the many things they have been or are listening to; very few have come to the knowledge of the truth when it comes to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and have adjusted. Only a few have come to the realization that the challenges happening to them at this very minute might be a way of God breaking them down for the position they are going to occupy in the future.
The Scriptures posit that as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth. No child comes into this world without the agony and pain the mother goes through.
Maybe some of us have the wrong perception of God; maybe some of us have been taught by false teachers and ended up with the wrong perception of the person of God; or maybe we have allowed other people’s opinion of God become the determining factor as we build or form our perception.
Here is a true perception from C.H Spurgeon, he said, “I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards; and he must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why he should have looked upon me with special love”.
Keep it right here!