Blind Leading the Blind
December 3, 2021
Jesus spoke to the multitudes and His disciples, saying: “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’” (Matthew 23:1-7).
Matthew 23:1-36 constitutes the last words of Jesus’ public ministry and the last time He confronted and was confronted publicly by the religious leaders. In verses 1-12 He spoke to the crowd concerning the Pharisees. He recognized the authority of the seat of Moses but knew they had replaced Moses’ authority with their own and the authority of Scripture with their laws. We experience the same problem today.
Jesus exposed the religious leaders as false prophets just as the Old Testament prophets did with Israel’s religious leaders in their day (Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 22-23; Amos 7; Zechariah 13; Zephaniah 3). He revealed their hypocrisy in the Sermon on the Mount, warning the people of the false prophets among them (Matthew 7:15-20). It is interesting that many people, when confronted with the truth, will continue to believe a lie. But that’s the reality of spiritual blindness.
Spiritually blind people led by spiritually blind leaders are inside and outside the church. What is the solution to the problem? There is one responsibility the Christian and the Christian church has on earth, and that is to fulfill the Great Commandment, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39), and the Great Commission, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).
Spiritually blind people will remain spiritually blind until God gives them opportunity to have their eyes opened. Isaiah 6 is a good example. He went about his business as a prophet when the Lord appeared to him and revealed his sinfulness. That’s God’s grace at work in his life. He willingly confessed his sin to the Lord. That’s faith at work in his life. Another example is Judas Iscariot. He went about his business until Jesus called him to be a disciple. That’s God grace. But Judas refused to acknowledge his sin or Jesus as Lord. That’s the absence of faith. Being religious doesn’t make you saved until you answer God’s grace with personal faith in Jesus.
“Lord Jesus, may we always respond to Your grace with faith, having our spiritual eyes opened to new truths each day that we may praise and glorify Your holy name, Amen.”