Blindness and it's Dangers in Leadership
Published April 10th, 2019
THE BLIND GUIDES Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 6:39-42 4-10-2019 THE SETTING ➜ On many occasions the different gospels record the same or similar events and messages of Christ with some differences. At times this is just a different perspective from a different writer, a different focus under leadership from the holy Spirit, and sometimes it may be a similar event or message that seems the same. That is the case with our parable for tonight, it is about the blind leading the blind. One of the most powerful and glorious sermons ever preached was on a mountain and was delivered by Christ. It is recorded for us in Matthew 5-7 . During this great sermon Christ delivered pointed instruction about the kingdom of heaven, which was different from how things had been. As we look at Luke 6 we find many similarities with the sermon on the mount and it does seem to be another harmonious account of it. As we notice from these two passages, however, they cover the same topic but in Luke 6 there is an additional parable given, it is this parable that we will study tonight. ➜ The Pharisees, with their experts and teachers of the law, claimed to have the most authoritative voice in Israel in matters pertaining to Moses' law . This system dominated religion within Israel to the point where they governed all religious activity and set the standards for what was acceptable. Christ recognized this claim when He said, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat" (Matt. 23:2). The Pharisees demanded explicit submission to their teachings, but Christ warned against following them because of the glaring difference between their teachings and their lives as in Matthew 23:3 . As authorities they had set themselves up as teachers and leaders, but in order to be able to teach, one must personally know, believe, and live the truth that one dispenses . Because of this fact our Lord spoke the parable "Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?" (Luke 6:39). THE PROBLEM ➫ In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ rejects Pharisaism as the means by which one might attain righteousness that would fit him for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, or in our terms, bring about salvation. Christ had said, in Matthew 5:20 , " For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven ". Two questions then arose: Why can't Pharisaism bring one into the kingdom? What is the peril of following Pharisaism? The answer given in the parable was that the Pharisees were blind. ➫ As we already know there was great danger in following the Pharisee's as Christ had warned His disciples to stay away from the leaven of the Pharisees. This Parable is designed to reveal that danger to His people without inflaming the situation. In the prologue to his gospel, John viewed the nation as being in darkness : "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:5). Christ came as light into the midst of darkness to dispel the darkness which symbolizes ignorance of God, while light symbolizes knowledge of God. Israel and all the world were in complete darkness and so Christ came to reveal God to people: "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him ." (John 1:18). ➫ The revelation that Christ made of the Father becomes light to believers, giving them the ability to see because those that are in darkness are blind . Now consider a teacher who is in darkness and ignorant of God. He cannot lead others who are ignorant to a knowledge of God any more than a blind man can lead a blind man. With this figure Christ showed the peril facing the nation if they kept following their blind leaders. He asked, "Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?" ( Luke 6:39 ). Of course then both the leaders and the followers would perish. If this did not change the Israelites would remain in ignorance if they followed leaders who were ignorant of God. THE SOLUTION ✔ Christ gave a solution to the problem of blindness in the leaders . The solution comes through another allusion or figure, that of the Beam and the mote, in which he instructs the leaders to remove the cause of blindness from their own eyes, and then they would be able to instruct the blind who followed them. The Lord used the figure of a beam and a speck of sawdust from that beam. The speck of sawdust and the beam did not differ in nature, but only in size. The speck of sawdust irritated the eye but the plank produced blindness . Christ's point was that the professed teachers were concerned with small things in the lives of their followers but were unconcerned with the thing that had produced blindness in themselves. The teachers professed to be able to remove the irritant from the eyes of listeners, to make them more righteous, while being blind themselves. ✔ The solution, then, was for the Pharisees to remove the cause of blindness in themselves; then they would be able to teach others who depended on them for guidance. In this case their blindness could be removed only by receiving light from the One who is the Light of the World, the Messiah, who stood in their midst. The bottom line is that they needed to be saved before they could be any kind of religious authority, how could they lead people to please God, to be saved or to truly connect with God if they are not themselves a child of God.