Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Blind Leading the Blind

 Our old dog Roscoe P. Coltrain the basset hound is thirteen years old.  He is an amazing animal and one that is determined to survive.  He survived the bloat (serious twisting of the stomach that cuts off circulation) with emergency surgery, he had a cancerous tumor on his spleen which required removal, and he had to be rescued from drowning  (by yours truly) when he fell into our pool due to poor eyesight.  At times, I think he must have inherited some cat genes since he has had so many lives!  However, since all of these traumatic experiences, we no longer allow him to roam in our backyard or near the pool.  Instead, we put a leash on him and carefully lead him to a safe place to do his business.  We serve as his eyes and without us, he could get into a lot of trouble.  In fact, if we had bad eyesight, we would not be useful at all to our dear old dog or to ourselves when it comes to leading him to safety.
     Jesus spoke about the danger of the blind leading the blind in Matthew 15.  In fact, he often referred to the Pharisees as blind guides.  Their teaching centered on obeying rules rather than understanding the spirit of the Law and loving God.  They complained to Jesus about his disciples not washing their hands which broke the tradition of the elders (Matt. 15:2).  However, Jesus answered them back by pointing out their way around the commandment to honor their father and their mother.  The Pharisees cared more for their tradition than the Law of God (Matt.15:6).
     As Jesus sought to teach the people the truth by clarifying how the Pharisees had twisted God's Word concerning the washing of hands before eating, He pointed out that it is not what a man eats which defiles him but what comes out of his mouth (Matt. 15:10).  This comment offended the Pharisees according to His disciples, and to this,  Jesus replied in Matt. 15:13-14:  "...Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.  Let them alone, they are blind guides.  And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."  All the Pharisees knew how to do was to cling to their tradition and lead the people to do the same.  Their rules were burdensome to the people because they were manmade rather than God's truth as found in His Word.  Therefore, they were blind guides to a people kept in the darkness.
     Jesus Christ came into this world for one purpose.  John 14:37 reads:  "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."  Christ came to tear down the false teachings, vain imaginations, and all things which raise themselves up against the true knowledge of God.  He came to guide us into all truth and to reveal to us God's love for us and to set the captives of sin free.  Just as He said, those who are on the side of truth listen to Him.  This is just as true today as it was then.
     Our Savior came down from heaven to shepherd His flock; to lead us out of temptation; to deliver us from evil; to open our eyes and our ears so we might hear His voice and follow Him.  The danger for us as God's sheep is to get off the path and away from the only One who can safely guide us through this life to our heavenly home.  He has sight and insight.  We are the ones who cannot see or know what tomorrow will bring.  This is why we must depend on Him even as our old dog depends on me to feed him, lead him, and care for his needs each day.
     When we look into the pages of the Bible, we will find food for our soul, guidance for our way, and rest.  Likewise, if we sit under sound preaching of God's Word, we will be led by God's Spirit into paths of righteousness.  The scales on our eyes will fall away when we remain in Christ and He in us.  This is how we can avoid falling into the ditches of life.  There are no other guides who can lead us into truth the way the Lord can.  It is important that we stay close to His side and allow Him to shepherd our souls for He is the "Via, Veritas, Vita" as He said:  "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).  Let us never settle for a blind guide!  Selah!

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