Summary: In the Bible, we see two kinds of blindness: physical blindness and spiritual blindness. How is your eyesight?
How is Your Eyesight?
1. Almost one hundred years ago — 99 to be exact, one of the greatest Gospel song writers of all time, Fanny Crosby, went home to be with the Lord. Crosby — who wrote Blessed Assurance and hundreds of other songs — was blind.
2. Technology is on the fringes of being able to restore sight to some blind people.
3. According to the Tech Times, “The idea of fusing humans with robotic parts was once in the domains of sci-fi novels and movies but it could well turn out to be the future of science. Surgeons at the University of Michigan have successfully implanted FDA-approved bionic eyes into patients suffering from eye disorder.
…The device itself is quite interesting, since it is a wireless bionic eye that works via a camera connected to electrodes. Apparently, the electrodes stimulate nerve fibers, which cause for the brain to pick up the perception of light…”
4. We cannot imagine the joy that comes to a person who was once blind but now can see. We tend to take our senses for granted, unlike someone who is without sight or hearing, for example.
Main idea: In the Bible, we see two kinds of blindness: physical blindness and spiritual blindness. How is your eyesight?
I. Blindness of Mind: Spiritual DESNSITY (11-21)
A. The Pharisees were blind in UNBELIEF (11-13)
1. Jesus had given many SIGNS
2. Sign seekers always want one MORE and to set AGENDA
3. As with Moses, miracles cannot mandate FAITH
4. Other Gospels add the sign of JONAH (Matthew 12:39)
• Remember Elijah/prophets of Baal, fire from heaven; at first, Israelites chose the Lord, but later went back to their idols…problem is the will, the heart…
• The blind usually do not know they are blind; they think they can see; you share the Gospel of grace, but lost people hear works…
B. The disciples were PARTIALLY blinded by STUBBORN attitudes (14-21)
1. They felt too guilty for their failings and expected reprimand
2. They failed to grasp the priorities and grace of the Kingdom
3. Jesus’ miracles should have lead them not to fear their absent-mindedness
Deut. 29:2-4, And Moses summoned all Israel and said…: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt… the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.”
C. Avoiding the LEAVEN of the Pharisees is an important lesson
Leaven often = sin, but not consistently. In Ex12:15-17 a hasty departure; in Matthew 13:3 it apparently represents the kingdom of God and how it spreads [cf Keener, Bible Background Commentary, p.155). Leaven is something contagious. Sin is one such yeast. Leaven-like attitudes/practices of the Pharisees include:
1. Adding FENCES to Scripture instead of obeying the Scriptures themselves
2. Obsessing about CONTROL, sameness, regiment, suspicion, not GRACE
3. Focusing on the EXTERNAL not LOVE
4. Asserting themselves as spiritually SUPERIOR to others
5. Creating PEER pressure to enslave others
6. This leaven has always been and still is RAMPANT in the Kingdom
7. Christian world driven by one fad after another, many good but balance?
8. One such leaven was a lack of understanding…disciples shared this
• Jesus scolds them: we are responsible for our own spiritual blindness; it does not have to be. It is the sign of a self-protected heart, not open to the Lord
• Ignorance is not always our fault. Stubbornness and denseness is. And those who are both ignorant and stubborn are perhaps most blameworthy.
II. Physical Blindness that ILLUSTRATES Spiritual Blindness (22-26)
A. There is a reason this account follows: both historical and a PARABLE
B. ONLY account of a two-phase healing in the Gospels
1. Mud and spittle
2. Seeing men as trees
3. Then, after laying hands, saw everything clearly
C. The Pharisees, disciples, and SPIRIT-LED disciples are contrasted
1. Pharisees and unsaved folks are like the BLIND man
2. Disciples at this point were SEMI-BLIND, like seeing trees
3. When Jesus’ breathed his Spirit, they could see CLEARLY
Luke 24:45, Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…
John 20:21-22, Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
D. REASONS professing believers do not read or understand the Bible
(seeing men as “trees”)
1. A.D.D. or reading issues
2. Lack of REGENERATION
3. Quenching the SPIRIT
4. IMPATIENCE and lack of perseverance
5. Spiritual LAZINESS
7. Messed up PRIORITIES or an UNBALANCED life
• Some phases of life are unbalanced, and sometimes we have to live on battery power, not the AC chord of regular times in the Word…