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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 8319 perception, spiritual
8319 perception, spiritual

8319 perception, spiritual

The ability to see beneath the outward form to the underlying, often hidden, reality. It is a necessary gift in dealing with people, understanding spiritual teaching and interpreting events. Perception is important for effective service, though is often lacking, even among God’s people.

Perception in dealing with people

God’s knowledge of human hearts Ps 139:1-4 See also Ps 17:3; Ps 44:21; Pr 24:12

Jesus Christ’s perception of those around him Jn 2:24-25 See also Isa 11:1-4; Mt 9:3-4 pp Mk 2:7-8 pp Lk 5:21-22; Jn 4:16-19; Rev 2:23

True understanding by God’s servants Ne 6:1-2; Job 21:27; Ac 5:1-3

Perception of spiritual truth

Recognising God’s ultimate authority Rev 4:1-2 See also 2Ki 6:15-17; Da 7:8-14

Understanding Jesus Christ’s teaching Mt 13:10-11 pp Mk 4:10-11 pp Lk 8:9-10 See also Mt 13:16-23 pp Mk 4:13-20 pp Lk 8:11-15 The parable of the sower is about the way Jesus Christ’s teaching in parables is received.

Understanding who Jesus Christ is Mt 16:15-17 pp Mk 8:29 pp Lk 9:20 See also Ac 8:30-35; Isa 53:7-8

Understanding about Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection Lk 24:45-46 See also Lk 24:30-35; Jn 12:16

Perception to interpret events

2Sa 5:11-12 The building of a palace in the newly captured Jerusalem confirms to David his election by God; Isa 43:9-12 Through his miraculous direction of his people’s history, God is perceived as the one, true God. See also Isa 41:18-20; Isa 64:4; Jnh 1:12 Jonah recognises God’s hand in the storm; Ac 10:34-35 Through the circumstances of his guidance, Peter realises that God’s salvation is for Gentiles too.

Perception leading to effective service

1Ki 3:9 pp 2Ch 1:10 See also 1Sa 16:7-13 Samuel perceives that David is to be king; 2Ki 4:8-10 A Shunammite’s perception of Elisha leads her to extend hospitality to him; Heb 11:27 Moses’perception of the invisible God

Lack of perception

By those in the OT Isa 43:19 See also Ex 5:2 Pharaoh; Nu 22:31-34 Balaam; Dt 32:28-29 Israel in the wilderness; Isa 29:10-12 the people of Jerusalem; Isa 42:20 Israel

By some Jews in the NT Mt 13:13-15 pp Mk 4:12 pp Lk 8:10; Isa 6:9-10; Lk 12:56; Jn 3:3-4; Ac 28:26

By Jesus Christ’s disciples Mt 15:16 pp Mk 7:18 not understanding what makes a person unclean; Mt 16:9 pp Mk 8:17-18 not understanding about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees; Mt 16:22 pp Mk 8:32 Peter cannot accept that Jesus Christ must be crucified; Jn 14:9 Philip does not understand that Jesus Christ reveals the Father; Jn 20:9 not understanding about the resurrection Not recognising the risen Christ: Jn 20:14; Jn 21:4

See also

5135blindness, spiritual
6178hardness of heart

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