January 4, 1994
People who are blind cannot see where they are going, where they have been, the significance of their surroundings, or what is happening around them. They are unsure what they trip over or bump into (unless they can touch it) and can easily become confused if given several conflicting messages about their environment.
While all that is rather evident to anyone who can see, the parallels to something the Bible calls “spiritual blindness” is not. For instance, a person who is spiritually blind has no idea of their eternal destination. They have difficulty understanding how their choices in the past effect their lifestyle now. They are not usually aware of the impact of the world’s attitudes and ideas on them. When they fail or are frustrated in their efforts to do things, they are not always able to identify the true reasons. If they hear too many conflicting messages about spiritual matters, they usually decide all of them can’t be right so opt for none of them.
Biblical spiritual blindness is more implied than explicit, more described than defined. Many of those who have it cannot see or understand the Kingdom of God. Some are not quite so void of understanding but are not interested or busy building their own kingdoms.
However, it is an affliction that affects everyone because at the root of every person’s inability to follow God or be godly is a spiritual blindness caused by sin. Since God says “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” every person is, or has been, spiritually blind.
Some are unaware they are blind. Some have never heard how to recover their sight. Some know what must be done to see but prefer to be in the dark. Some have been assigned to permanent blindness. A few have been brought out of darkness into the light.
The Bible has tests for those who presume they are not blind. 1 John 2:11 offers the love test: “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”
Another is the faith test, or total trust in Christ for eternal life. Those who have spiritual sight have realized they are sinful and have confessed their need of a Savior. A person who is still blind will claim they are without sin, thus deceiving themselves, another aspect of spiritual blindness.
The way out of such darkness is through Christ. He proclaimed: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46). It is through Him, and faith in Him that a person can not only see and accept their spiritual need and be forgiven, but given the power to break free from sin’s bondage.
Those few who can now see have not been given Light because they are anything special. In fact, they see themselves as the Apostle Paul did, helpless and lost, blinded sinners were it not for God’s mercy shown to them through Jesus Christ. Of them, the Bible says: “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
Christians rejoice that God said, “Let light shine out of darkness” and that God made His light shine in our hearts. He gave us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. It is in Christ that we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. It is in Christ that we see the significance of where we are going, where we have been, our flops and failures. It is Christ who is the Light of our lives.