Willfully Blind

Willfully Blind
Robert Wurtz II

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
(Matthew 15:14 KJV)

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.  (Matthew 23:24 KJV)

The late Greek scholar A.T. Robertson once told the story of being in Cincinnati where a blind man introduced him to his blind friend. He said that he was showing him the city. (Robertson) This is a sobering thing to consider and not far removed from the “blind” motif as used by our Lord on numerous occasions. It is an awful thing to consider that there is still, after nearly 2000 years, a generation completely blind to what God intends to do in this world through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yet every week they show up in their respective places and “show them the city.” 

When a person has been clearly shown the truth and still refuse to change their mind, they are in a state of willful blindness. This is similar to willful ignorance where a person could know the truth, but they choose to deliberately ignore it. It is safe to say that willful blindness is one “disease” that God cannot, or will not cure. Our passage in Matthew 15:14 suggests that these people select other blind leaders to lead them around. In other words, both leader and follower are willfully blind. In fact, when a person is willfully blind, they will surround themselves with leaders who are just as willfully blind as they are. They will avoid anyone who “sees” their blindness; that is, anyone who could lead them to a change of mind (repentance). In a word, they love their blindness, as it agrees with their own way of living and thinking. To shine a light upon this group is to incur their wrath, even as Jesus all too often experienced. 

In Acts 2 the people were said to have “gladly received the word” and as a consequence were baptized. However, in Acts 7, the people resisted the Holy Spirit instead of receiving Him. They resisted Stephen’s preaching, and they resisted the Holy Spirit. God was trying to set them right, but they closed their eyes and stopped their ears . We have this passage in Isaiah:

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isaiah 41:20)

You will recall that part of Paul’s commission was to “open their eyes” to   turn the people from darkness to light. Paul preached so that “they may see, and know, and understand, and consider…” This is what Stephen had done. At first, Paul (Saul) resisted the message and refused to consider. Nevertheless, in time Paul did see and understand. In fact, when we get to Acts 28 he thoroughly explains the process by another reference to Isaiah:

And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Acts 28:25-27)

Will you notice, “their eyes they have closed.” This is an obstinate refusal to recognize the truth of what is preached. Their heart had “waxed gross” or in the language of Hebrews, they had an evil heart of unbelief and departed from the Living God. (Hebrews 3:12) This means that their heart refused to receive what was said and consider it. No matter how much evidence was brought to bear; the    people still refused to believe. They needed to be healed of their backsliding and rebellion, but they resisted the one who wanted to come into  them and do the work. One cannot receive the Holy Spirit without agreeing with God’s word and believing on Him. We simply cannot receive His Spirit and resist His authority at the same time. 

In modern times, it is almost impossible to see any real change that would set mainstream Christianity on the right path. Why? Because when the light is shone, most simply go back to their blindness. They prefer blind leaders to ones who actually “see.” This is what happens when people don’t want to see what is being shown to them, and there is somebody there to show them something more agreeable to them. This is an awesome thing to consider. God will always allow a deceiver to be present in order to test the hearts of the people — whether they will serve God or not. 

If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:1–3 NKJV)

Many people claim to love the Lord, but turn away from the truth to follow the blindness of our times. This is why the philosophy of many professing Christians parallels the latest trends in the world. From popular culture and psychology, to political correctness and popular preaching — many take hold of the arm of the blind to be led into the ditch. What did Jesus say? Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Leave them to their own devices. Perhaps once they finally fall into the ditch they will realize the folloy of their actions. Trying to persuade them now is an exercise in futility. It’s not that they can’t see, it’s that they see and don’t want to see. They have blinded themselves to the truths that they don’t want to acknowledge. There is no hope for anyone in this condition until they repent. Their eyes are perfectly fine; it’s up to the individual to take off the blinders and see.  

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