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Seeing is Believing

Hebrews 11:1-3

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“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. [2] For by it our ancestors were approved. [3] By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.” (HCSB)

 This morning, I want to begin with a pop quiz.  I have four questions for you to answer.  Each of them involves a picture I’m going to flash on the screen.  Take out a piece of paper and write 1. 2. 3. and 4 on it down the left column, leaving room to write in your answers.

 Question 1:  Which square is larger, A or B?  Question 2:  Which line is longer, A or B?  Question 3:  Which line is longer, A or B? and finally, Question 4:  How many triangles do you see? 

 Before I give you the answers, compare what you wrote down with your neighbor.

 OK, let’s see how you did.  The answer to question 1 is, “neither.”  They are both the same size.  The right square looks larger because it is rotated 90 degrees, but it is in fact the same size as the one on the left. 

 The answer to question 2 is also “neither.”  This is the “vertical-horizontal illusion.”  The vertical line looks longer, but it is the same length as the horizontal one. 

 As with the first two questions, the answer to question 3 is “neither.”  This is the parallelogram illusion.  Line A looks longer because of its relationship to the parallelogram, but it is the same size as line B. 

 Now for question 4.  The only triangle in this picture is the name of this illusion, “Kanizsa’s triangle.”  There is an illusion of a nonexistent white triangle because our eyes draw lines where none exists. (

 Perhaps after this exercise you join me in questioning the truth of the widely accepted Latin phrase, Videre est credere, “Seeing is believing.”

 If our eyes can deceive us, and we can’t believe everything we see, then what can we trust?  Can we trust the unseen realities of life?  What about the things you can’t see, are they real?

 There are spectrums of light that the human eye cannot see and sound frequencies that the ear cannot hear, yet they exist.  Without the aid of night vision goggles, soldiers would be less effective in fighting at night.  The normal human eye can only detect “white light.”  But with special equipment, our soldiers can “detect a person standing over 200 yards away on a pitch-black night.”  It would be foolish for a person without night vision goggles to argue with a person with the equipment about the existence of an enemy combatant approaching their position.  The wise soldier would believe the person looking through the goggles and take appropriate measures.  Seeing is not always believing.

 A normal person can hear between 20 and 20,000 Hertz, while dogs can hear pitches higher than 20,000 Hertz level, that’s why they can hear dog whistles and we can’t.  Just because we can’t hear a sound doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
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