Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Jesus often used physical conditions to describe the spiritual conditions of the people to whom he ministered. He spoke about those who had eyes and could not see or who had ears but did not hear, about those who were alive but dead and things of such a nature.
Here he was describing some people as blind who led the blind; obviously he was not referring to their physical condition but to their spiritual condition.
What is blindness?
Blindness is a loss of vision, of sight, the effects of blindness can be very devastating, the obvious one is a loss of sight, leading to the inability to find direction, easily discern or differentiate between objects or colors.
Physical blindness is a disability but spiritual blindness is often worse because of its deceptive nature.
.Can you imagine a scenario where a blind person is being led by another blind person! That is a classic case of double jeopardy.
In the passage above Jesus was referencing the Pharisees as the bind leaders who were leading the ordinary people who themselves were unsighted.
We need to look closely at these scriptures to understand its far reaching import for the Church and the nation today. The Pharisees were no ordinary people, they were the religious elite in the days of the Jesus, they were at the very top pf the religious pyramid and were power brokers in the society. They had influence with the people and also with the governmental systems of the day.
A good number of the priests belonged to this class, they were fervent and knowledgeable in the scriptures, it is said that one of the qualifications for actually being a member of this elite group was to be able to quote offhand the first 5 books of the law!
Saul of Tarsus was a very famous Pharisee, that is until he later became Paul the Apostle. The Pharisees prided themselves in their religious accomplishments and generally considered themselves as the moral guide and light of the nation.
But Jesus had some very harsh words for them, often reserving some of his harshest criticisms for these people. With all they knew and thought they had Jesus looked at them and said of them, they were blind, hypocrites, corrupt, godless, unfeeling and wicked’
What made them blind? I believe they were blind to God’s counsel for the nation, blind to who Jesus was, blind to the hour and season of their visitation and blind to the spiritual condition of the nation.
They had the law, which testified of Jesus, they knew the prophecies but they could not find direction and light from them. It was a terrible situation, the people depended on them for direction but they themselves did not know where they were going.
I was talking to someone on my way back from a trip to Abuja and as we talked about the state of the nation and the Church and how the Church had unwittingly contributed to our present situation, as we talked this phrase from the scripture above jumped into my mind
The blind leading the blind will cause both to fall into the same ditch.
in the 19th Chapter of Luke, Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they did not know the day of their visitation, He foresaw the end of their blindness and the events that would befall the nation. Most of the things Jesus foresaw came to pass with the sacking of Jerusalem in AD70 and the terrible things that happened at that time. These things were not the will of God, they were avoidable but because of the blindness of the leadership they whole nation was plunged into a crises.
Leadership is everything, whether in secular or spiritual contexts. Prayer is great, the Pharisees were given to much prayer, activity and discipleship is wonderful, but Pharisees also excelled in that what they lacked was sight, am inability to discern times and seasons, a lack of revelation of what God was saying and doing and an inability to find direction from the prophetic word for the nation.
These are the same conditions afflicting the Nigerian Church and nation. Pride, arrogance, greed, selfish ambition and desire for vain glory has blinded the leaders and has caused their sight to fail.
The Lord has not left the Church without direction through the ministry of the prophet and the Holy Spirit, the Lord has spoken so many great things about this nation through the prophets over the last 50 years, those words by themselves are sufficient to provide direction for a Church seeking God and his will.
Daniel knew by the writings of the prophets that the time of the captivity of the nation was at hand and he began to seek the Lord, even Jesus found direction by what was written concerning him in the Law, Prophets and the Psalms.
There is a reason why the Lord set prophets in the Church, and a reason why He is restoring the office of the Prophet in our times. This of course will explain why the devil is doing so much to discredit the true ministry of the prophet by the proliferation of false and fake prophets.
Just like Paul told Toothy to war by the prophecies that had gone on ahead of him, so the Church wars over the soul of the nation by the same means
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
1 Tim 1:18
When factors like ethnicity, denominational pride, religious considerations, personal ambition, political correctness and personal profit become the factors that influence and affect the decision making processes at the highest levels in the Church and national leadership then we have a ‘blind’ leadership.
Jesus came declaring ‘the son can do nothing except what He sees the father doing’ the father hid nothing from the son nad showed him all that He was doing, that is visionary leadership.
Jesus said of those who followed him, ‘all that the father has shown me, I have made known to you, that is why I call you my friends’
The leaders of the first Church had no agendas, no personal kingdoms to build, no great ministries to establish, wealth and its accumulation for whatever purposes was not their focus, they had only one program and agenda to know Jesus and make him known. Because Jesus and His kingdom was their agenda, Jesus could trust them with the resources of sight which they needed to fulfill that vision.
The Church greatly lacks men without such no agenda agendas. Our leaders today have too much to protect, reputations, kingdoms, influence, wealth etc it would seem that the more of such things we have the greater our blindness, may the Lord give us sight.
The blindness of the leaders of Israel threw the nation into an avoidable crisis, human actions have consequences, God will give us a choice and the freedom to exercise our will but we also have to live with the consequences.
Today the Nigerian nation laments over the fractured state of the polity, never in the history of the nation have we been so divided and impoverished and as it is in the nation so it is with the Church.
We lament the absence of visionary leaders in the body of Christ, men for whom the kingdom of God and his will was their overarching purpose and rightly so! Men whose voices echo like thunder and bring in the heart and counsel of the Lord fo r Church and nation, men who were not afraid to rebuke kings and speak up for the poor! Lord where is Babalola, Elton , where is Idahosa as we knew him in his prime?
Lord have mercy on us, raise up men who see and who hear!
The worse part about spiritual blindness is that those who are afflicted with this condition often do not recognize their state, because they determine their condition by externals they often do not recognize how blind they really are.
Jesus said to the Pharisees
Because you say that you can see, your sin remains, if you had acknowledged your blindmess, you would have had no sin. (John 6)
Because they claimed to be able to see they would not go to the One who could give them sight Jesus, this is often why God has to raise a new leadership who depend on him for sight and direction.
The ‘Fathers’ say they see but they are blind!
In the ministry of Jesus very few Pharisees humbled themselves to go to Jesus , pride was their destruction. Even Paul the apostle had to be struck blind first in order that he may receive sight!
It was he who taught us to pray that God may give unto us a spirit of wisdom revelation and that the eyes of our understanding may be enlighted… Ephesians 1:17
In the Church and in the nation, a new leadership must rise, the Church must no longer be led by blind men who are leading the blind
To be continued