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by Dalton Key
for the week of October 18, 2020

Many New Testament truths are stated in paradoxical form.  A paradox has been loosely defined as “truth standing on its head,” and more exactly explained by Webster as “a statement that seems contradictory, unbelievable, or absurd that may actually be true in fact.”  When Jesus speaks of the last being first, and the first last, he is speaking in this fashion.  (Matthew 20:16.)  Likewise, when he affirms, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it,” he is speaking paradoxically.  (Matthew 16:25.)  The New Testament contains many such seemingly impossible statements. 

A case in point is 2 Corinthians 4:18, which reads in McCord’s translation, “We continue to look, not at the things which are visible, but at the things which are invisible; for the visible things are temporary, but the invisible things are eternal.”  As strange as it may sound, as incongruous as it may seem, the only things of any real substance, and thus the only things worthy of our looking at with consuming interest and emphasis, are those things invisible to the human eye. 

Everything we can see – our houses, cars, collections, our very bodies – will all too soon be gone.  Physical, visible things, as appealing as they appear, are temporary at best. 

Jesus taught, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21.) 

Now think for a moment and answer honestly.  What do you primarily look at?  Do you look at temporary things which can be seen?  Or eternal treasures which, for now, are invisible?