by Jesse L. Smith
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“…And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” –Matthew 15:14
Being in a room with the lights turned off can be an unnerving experience. Even if you are somewhat familiar with the structure and arrangement of the room before the lights go out, your ability to navigate that room is severely impaired. How many of us have stubbed our toes in houses we have lived in all our lives while walking down the hall to the bathroom at night? Maybe it’s our own vanity, but how often have we been in situations like that where we decided to brave that dark hall instead of simply turning on the light switch? In our minds we reason that we know what the hall looks like already and don’t need the assistance of any light. Depending on the level of our self-assurance we either tip-toe through the hall or grope along the walls to reach our destination- but invariably we end up with a bruised toe at some point.
Sometimes as followers of Jesus it is easy to get caught up in intellectualism. That is to say, we forget that the only reason we ever knew what the hall looked like was because the lights were turned on! In our vanity, we begin to reason that somehow we came to understand the truth through the application of our own wisdom and understanding. This is deeply unfortunate, because in so doing we have strayed from the very Source that gave us light to begin with. Also instead of guiding those that are spiritually blind to the Light, we begin instead to offer our own reasoning pointing to the theoretical existence of Light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” –John 8:12
I have often been amazed at the simplicity and purity of the faith of many in impoverished third world nations. Miracles, signs, and wonders are not uncommon among many of these people – but here in America it is rare to see anything remotely supernatural. Why should this be the case? After all we have more knowledge of the truth, the scriptures and their history. We can easily defend the historical veracity of scripture and the life of Christ. We can easily set aside “oppositions of science, falsely so called.” – 1 Timothy 6:20 But for all of this knowledge of Christ, how close are we really to Him? The poor in other countries may have very little scripture at all, very little knowledge of history, and not even able to appreciate science. But what they do have is a real relationship with a very real God through Jesus. Salvation has always been very simple, “…For whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13
The Pharisees whom Jesus called ‘blind leaders of the blind’ were not unlike many of us in America today. When it came to knowledge of the scriptures they were amazing – many having memorized the entire Torah. When it came to outward forms of righteousness they were spotless, having reduced the way of righteousness to nearly a mathematical equation. What they lacked however was enough to earn them the title of ‘blind’ by Jesus - a heart for God. Preferring as it were to grope through the dark halls using their own wisdom and understanding instead of acknowledging their need for the Light, their actual relationship with God was absent.
As a follower of Christ you will find that there is no need to focus on the oppositions of darkness when you are walking in the Light. Darkness has no ability to penetrate Light, but Light will always penetrate darkness. The very best way for you to keep your faith burning bright in these dark times is to constantly focus on your Savior through prayer and meditation on His Word. It is often tempting to rely on your own understanding or knowledge for the sake of ‘guiding others’- but simply turning on the Light switch is always the best solution!
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