by Kevin Burton
Spiritual blindness comes from the lack of spiritual light. If you don’t have spiritual light, you can’t see straight.
It’s a simple concept when you boil it down. But that notion is missing in many heated conversations about God, life on earth and the afterlife.
The Holy Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. The scripture that speaks most directly to this is John 8:12, which in the NASB reads, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
The converse is spelled out in several places in the Bible, including Matthew chapter 15, as we’ll see in just a bit.
I have been legally blind since birth. I attended the Ohio State School for the Blind in Columbus for 8½ years, completing high school there.
The limitations I have as a partially-sighted person pale in comparison to the dangers we all face from spiritual blindness, operating apart from the knowledge of God and what Jesus has done for us.
That’s why I am introducing the concept of a school for the spiritually blind that we can all attend here on Page 7. The discussion began earlier this month (“A School For The Spiritually Blind,” May 2) and continues with actual classes, planned for next Sunday.
But before that first bell rings, let’s hear from some Christian leaders on the topic of spiritual blindness.
“One of the pictures the Bible uses of our predicament as sinners, is blindness,” said Alistair Begg, pastor and speaker on the Truth For Life radio ministry.
“People think of sin almost inevitably in terms of things that we do or things that we haven’t done that we should do,” Begg said. “But in actual fact sin is a condition before it is an action.”
“It is sin that blinds us to the fact that we are at enmity with God. It is sin that blinds us to our need of peace with God. It is sin that blinds us to the provision that has been made, for peace in Jesus,” Begg said.
“In our popular vocabulary when somebody becomes converted we use the expression ‘they‘ve seen the light’ because before, they were blinded to the things of God,” said the late Dr. R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries.
“And all of the sudden when your eyes are opened and you see the full orb sweetness of the radiance of Christ, everything changes.”
Sproul, speaking to a group of children asked one child, “What color is an orange?” Orange was the obvious answer.
Turning to another child he asked “What color is an orange when the lights are out?”
“Black” the child answered, making Sproul’s point.
“The only time an orange is orange is when the light is on,” Sproul said, “because color is something that belongs not to shirts or to blouses or to shoes, people or things. The colors of the rainbow are found in light.”
“Without the source of light, everything is black,” Sproul said. That is true in the spiritual arena as well.
A person who is spiritually blind can’t interpret information properly or even ask the right questions. In Matthew 15 the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus why his disciples broke the traditions of the elders. They could not see that man-made traditions are not equal to and cannot take the place of the word of God.
Jesus pointed this out to them and they were offended. Jesus properly diagnosed their condition in Matt. 15: 13-14.
“But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone; they are blind guides of blind people. And if a person who is blind guides another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.’”
At the school for the blind in Ohio, I can assure you they taught us how to navigate the world without falling into a pit or stepping into traffic. But this is different. With spiritual blindness, the blind leading the blind is a recipe for catastrophe.
Without the light of Jesus, non-believers can’t see what Christians do. The apostle Paul explains this in 1 Cor. 1:18.
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”