Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blind Guides

Matthew 23:16 “Woe unto you, ye blind guides!

I read lately that the 23rd chapter of Matthew contains some harsh criticisms and reproofs as Jesus delivers the eight “woes.” Even the Greek word is a bit eerie. Can you imagine this series of stern admonitions delivered to the faces of these self-righteous manipulators of truth? Woe (“οὐαί” in Greek) you Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, hypocrites! The blindness that Jesus was condemning has both a practical and spiritual impact. Worship God; not the brick and mortar of the church, not the music, not the pastor, not the fellowship/relationships, not the programs, events and groups; worship God alone. Obviously, if one does not understand simple truth, the result is going to be either embarrassing or painful. I heard an illustration once about a person who loved a certain other person who was gone on a long journey, but had a photo of this beloved other person that they looked at constantly, hugged and kissed regularly, and talked to lovingly daily. Then one day the beloved other person returned home and when the homeward person saw them, they picked up the photo of them and started hugging and kissed it again. The point is, who or what was this person loving? The person or the image?

Matthew 15:14 They are blind leaders of the blind,” Jesus said. “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

The great Creator of the universe knows best how to guide His creation. If we, the stewards, do not know or understand the Creator’s instructions, we are bound to get into trouble. That “truth blindness” often results in “blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” – Matthew 23:24. There is an old saying, "There's none so blind as those who will not see."

Psalm 146:5-8 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
But the article points out that the greater blindness is spiritual. Peter listed attributes on how to grow in faith and gain blessed assurance. Then he advised in 2 Peter 1:9, Whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus warned Laodicea, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” - Revelation 3:17. His counsel: I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” - Revelation 3:18Come to Jesus, who says, "Buy from me." He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

In Christ, Brian

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