Summary: In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Or is he?

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:21-25

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”


The famous author H. G. Wells once wrote a story titled “The Country of the Blind”. It told the story of a hiker who accidentally stumbled into a village of people who have been blind for generations. He remembered a saying that “in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” and, therefore, believed the people would make him their leader, appreciating the fact that he could see. Instead, they think he is mad because of the things that he describes, and set about “curing” his madness by removing his eyes.

If you ever wondered why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus, instead of recognizing him as the long-promised Messiah, this is the reason. They were so blinded by years of religious conditioning they couldn’t recognize the truth when it stood before them in person. They lived in spiritual darkness and couldn’t see the light. The question for us is: Can we see the light? Or have years of conditioning blinded us to the truth too? When we grow up in the world doing what the world does, we cannot recognize spiritual realities. Claiming to be Christian doesn’t change this. If you watch the movie, Gandhi, you would see that Gandhi was more “Christian” than most of the “real” Christians out there.

So what changes us then? Following Jesus does. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Following Jesus means following in his footsteps, learning to think as he did, and consequently, live as he did. After washing his disciple's feet at the last supper, he said to them: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:13-15).

“Pay attention to what you hear,” Jesus says in today’s passage. And if we pay attention and start living in imitation of Christ, we will “automatically” shine. And he will enable us to shine even brighter. The world needs the light of Christ more than ever before now. It is so dark, it has cast its shadow over the church, putting it in darkness too. But if we start following Christ in earnest and begin shining bright, we can cast light over the world, bringing it to brightness instead. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Pay attention to what you hear.


Today's devotional — Country of the Blind — is based on Mark 4:21-25, the gospel reading for the day. The reflection is by Aneel Aranha, founder of Holy Spirit Interactive (HSI). Follow him on Facebook:

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