The following is a lightly edited transcript.
This is Acts 26:17–18. This is amazing to me. It is so remarkable. This is Jesus talking to Paul as he commissions him to go: “I am sending you to open their eyes.”
“You” — finite, fallible, non-supernatural human being — “I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God.” Go do that, Paul. To which, of course, Paul would say, “I can’t do that.”
And Jesus knows that and, therefore, the point of this command is that God’s supernatural, regenerating work is always done through human agency. Always!
You have to hear or read, in a human production, the Word of God in order to be born of God. God won’t open the eyes of the blind to see nothing. He opens the eyes to see Christ.
He said, “Let there be light in your heart.” And you saw the light of the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4–6).
The second thing that has to happen if we are going to glorify God is that we have to look at the book. It’s not enough to simply go out and pray for illumination: “Oh, Holy Spirit, tell me what I need to know about God right now.”
That is an insult to the Holy Spirit because his response is going to be, “I wrote a book.” Don’t ignore my book. Don’t try to do it another way. Don’t take shortcuts on me. I did not preserve this book through the blood of the martyrs for you to go out in the woods and play games with me. Get on your face before my book and pray.
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach you to read the Bible for yourself. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.
As part of this new initiative, Desiring God is catalyzing regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. Below, you can find all four sessions from our Look at the Book weekend on Romans 9.
The Word of God Has Not Failed
Session 1: Has the Word of God Failed? (Romans 9:1–5)
Session 2: God’s Good Purpose in Election (Romans 9:6–13)
Session 3: God Has Mercy on Whomever He Wills (Romans 9:14–18)
Session 4: My Heart’s Prayer to God for You (Romans 9:19–10:4)