Summary: Spiritual blindness is a condition created by selfish desires (covetousness) and it prevents us from seeing the spiritual reality of the events and circumstances of our lives. We must diagnose and treat spiritual blindness in order to live a life which is
I want to talk tonight about a problem which is common to all of us: spiritual blindness. My sermon tonight is Diagnosing and Treating Spiritual Blindness. Warren Wiersbe has said:
Do you know what makes man the most suffering of all creatures? It is that he has one foot in the finite and the other in the infinite, and that he is torn between these two worlds.
This experience is common to all of us because we are spiritual beings living in a physical world. There is a battle inside us in which the desire and necessity of meeting physical needs wars against and sometimes overwhelms the motivation to behave the commandments of God. These needs in any given situation may cloud our ability to see the spiritual nature of the circumstance. We then act selfishly to fulfill our desires instead of acting in such a way as to model Christ. I call this spiritual blindness.
Logo: Spiritual blindness will keep you from seeing life as it really is.
HOOK: TELL QUICKLY
Story of plane trip home from Portland,Oregon as part of first solo business trip. Got on a plane, thought it was direct flight to Memphis. Pilot announces destination as Salt Lake City. I fret instead of reading my itinerary, and misunderstand the reality of where I was. The flight was the correct one since I was booked with connections in SLC and Dallas on the way to Memphis. I assumed one thing, when reality was another thing. I was blind at that moment to my reality. If I had read my itinerary then I would have known I was on the correct plane.
In a similar way, we allow ourselves to be blinded to what is really going on in our lives and simply follow the desires we feel. Instead of following the teaching of scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we blunder through life doing what we feel and getting into all sorts of trouble. Logo: Spiritual blindness will keep you from seeing life as it really is.
Read Luke 12:13 - Jesus is confronted by a man who is spiritually blind.
I. DIAGNOSIS OF SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
The man who comes to Jesus has a problem. Jesus immediately diagnoses this man’s problem as spiritual blindness. Jesus responds with an instruction as to the dangers of covetousness. Jesus then tells a story about a rich man who has allowed his covetousness to cause spiritual blindness.
Define covetousness. Vine’s Expository Dictionary: “a desire to have more, always used in a bad sense.” What does that mean?
Well, you will remember that “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife or possessions” is one of the Ten Commandments. Let’s try that for some more information.
In Mark 12:28-31, they ask Jesus “which is the first commandment of all?” (parallel passage: Matt. 22:34-40).
(1) Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind
(2) Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Romans 13:8-10 explains why.
Jesus listed the second as “Love thy neighbor.” Read Romans 13:8-10.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (KJV)
John 15:13 says, “Greater live hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friend.” This is exactly what Jesus did. Therefore, “love thy neighbor means we are to exhibit the love of Christ to those around us.
Our lives, as spiritual beings, should be to behave actions and attitudes which are a worship to God and an example of Christ to those around us. Jesus is teaching this truth. Beware of covetousness because it changes the priorities in our lives to something other than behaving the two greatest commandments.
Why is coveting your neighbor’s donkey a sin? Modern day example. Our church parking lot is full of SUVs. Explain how we compare ourselves to others. We either feel good about ourselves or like we have been mistreated by life. The focus on stuff, and others’ stuff, creates covetousness which then causes us to violate God’s commandments to us.
Spiritual blindness is caused when we elevate our selfish desires until they change our behavior so it violates God’s priorities. Logo: Spiritual blindness will keep you from seeing life as it really is.
II. SYPMTOMS OF SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
How do you diagnose an eyesight problem? Evaluate the symptoms and trace them back until you determine the cause. How do we know this man suffered from covetousness as a root cause for his blindness? Examine his attitudes and his actions.