Blindness is a condition. It’s an inability to see. It’s one of the conditions that is considered most unfortunate. When one says someone is blind, it’s not meant as an insult or said to gloat about the fact that he/she sees and the blind person doesn’t.
In the same vein, when we say someone is spiritually blind, it’s not meant as an insult; it’s to let them know that there’s a world of sight and beauty that they’re missing out on—a world they deserve to see and one that they can see.
Spiritual blindness is an inability to see and recognise God as the true God and Jesus as the Messiah and Saviour of the world. It’s an inability to understand that every man needs salvation and therefore, every man needs Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV says:
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
A few things to note from this verse:
- Someone perpetrates the blinding; he’s referred to as “the god of this age”.
- Spiritual blindness is a blinding of the mind.
- Those whose minds have been blinded CANNOT see.
- What they cannot see is the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.
I thought it might be good to consider physical blindness and draw parallels for spiritual blindness from that.
● Blindness is dependency.
When one is blind, someone leads and directs him/her. He/she doesn’t see enough [and therefore he/she doesn’t have enough information] to make judgements for himself/herself.
I believe this is true of spiritual blindness as well. As 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, someone is responsible for this blinding of unbelievers. Now, the question to ask then is what does this person stand to gain from making and keeping them blind? Power, I think. The one who blinded them needs them to stay blind so he works to keep them blinded; that’s how he wields and maintains his power over the blind. The spiritually blind person, whether willing to accept this truth or not, is influenced by someone who guides him/her. Thoughts, choices, decisions, etc. on his/her journey through life are informed by this someone.
The god of this age is aptly named because he is not removed from the times in which he operates. He knows his prey well. Because of how sneaky the god of this age is and how well he knows the people of this age, he has chosen to package his brand of manipulation and control as “freedom”.
● Blind people tend to rely on other senses which are heightened because of their lost sense of sight.
For the spiritually blind, the heightened sense is physical sight, leading to an overreliance on what is seen [vs. faith, for the believer]. So for the spiritually blind person, his/her only reality is what he/she sees. The enemy who desires to keep them blind capitalizes on this handicap of the spiritually blind by giving them A LOT to see because after all, a distracted person will hardly be concerned with the real issue.
Remember that spiritual blindness is a blinding of the mind. A huge part of the enemy’s success is in his successful convincing of men that they ought to rely only on what their minds tell them is logical–and you can be sure that if you are relying on a part of yourself that has been blinded, your decisions are at best flawed and unsound.
● For the blind person, the condition of blindness is his/her normal.
When people with sight explain what it’s like, it’s impossible to understand what they mean.
It takes gaining the gift of sight to understand exactly how bleak the condition of blindness was and to appreciate the difference between the world of darkness and the new world of light and vision.
It’s the same with spiritual blindness. To the spiritually blind, Christ and the life He gives are completely inconceivable and unfathomable. Any talk about a spiritual dimension sounds preposterous and entirely outrageous. It takes gaining sight to acknowledge the Light for what an absolute delight He is and to see and understand what a huge difference the world of light is from the world of darkness.
Spiritual things “…are spiritually discerned…” [1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV]
This is why those who have been blessed with the gift of spiritual sight have no right to be exasperated with the spiritually blind. They CANNOT see.
- They’re not pretending not to see.
- They’re not deliberately closing their eyes [to the truth]—however shocking some of their claims/statements may be.
FORTUNATELY!!! Spiritual blindness is curable… JESUS is and has the cure.
So what can we do if we are concerned about the condition of spiritual blindness which is evident all around us?
- PRAY the Lord of the harvest… Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV
He makes the harvest ready and makes us ready to pick.
- GO (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV). Do the harvesting because time is of the essence. Jesus Himself warns about the fact that time is limited and we need to approach this task with a lot of urgency (John 4:35 NIV; 9:4 NIV).
If it happened in a medical context that a surgeon performed a surgery successfully and a nurse or some other medical officer forgot to attend to the patient and see that he/she received the rest of treatment that would see them successfully recover, that would be called negligence. This is how I think of the command to go and do the harvesting. We have a window where Jesus has performed the surgery that will make the scales fall off and deliver men from their condition of blindness. Our job is to be present and available to lead and help establish our newly recovered brethren in their new reality where Jesus is Saviour, Lord, and ALL.
We can’t miss that window because our adversary is looking to keep men blind. If those who should be available to draw and establish others into the new life [of truth and sight] that Jesus has offered are not, we would be guilty of terribly grave wrongs against our fellow brethren.