Understanding Spiritual Blindness
Today is Palm Sunday, so Pastor Ed Allen preached a sermon from Luke 19:28-44, where it describes Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. At the end of the passage, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and predicts its destruction.
Spiritual blindness, by its very nature, doesn't see itself. It is the enemy of personal growth and blocks our healing (Matthew 13:14-15).
The religious leaders around Jesus were spiritually blind.
Nothing about him was how they expected the Messiah to be.
Yet Jesus believed they should have known better. ("Even you" - vs. 42)
For Jesus, this is a point of profound sadness. He wept over Jerusalem. Spiritual blindness leads to ruin.
In Luke 18, we read about Jesus and the rich young ruler. Jesus told him his whole lifestyle was holding him back. Yet right after that in Luke 18:34, it says about the disciples: "But they understood none of these things."
Jesus was surrounded by spiritual blindness -- even his disciples.
Everyone around Jesus was at least partially blind.
This is how the story becomes personal for us. The default human setting is not getting it.
John 1:9-10: "the world did not know him"
Ephesians 4:17-18: "the futility of their thinking... due to the hardness of their hearts."
Our spiritual understanding begins with the realization that we are blind.
Three questions about spiritual blindness:
1) Why are we spiritually blind? How did we get this way?
God sometimes blinds us (Zephaniah 1:17).
The devil blinds us (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The main reason: We choose it. We love darkness (John 3:19-20). We suppress the truth (Romans 1:18-20). We choose not to see. That's our default setting.
2) How do we get over spiritual blindness?
Revelation from God is the key. If we're going to see, God must open our eyes and show us (Matthew 16:17). God reveals Himself to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
We are powerless to accomplish this. We're spiritually dead. Dead people don't arouse themselves to life.
We have to say Yes. We have to accept God's movement.
We see because God opens our eyes.
3) What do we see when our eyes are opened?
God is in control; we are not.
Things happen by design. Palm Sunday was orchestrated by God.
We'll see Jesus -- God squeezed into human skin.
"I was blind, but now I see!" (John 9)