Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 28
Thesis: If the blind allow themselves to be led by the blind, everyone ends up trapped in a deep pit.
Introduction: In Luke 6:39 Jesus appealed to the ultimate problem of mankind's rejection of the ethics of the Kingdom of God by means of a "parable" regarding "guidance" for the blind by the blind. As we come to this text this morning, we need to remember a key fact: Luke has significantly "edited" what Jesus said on that day. Since what Jesus had to say that day was already heightened in terms of its importance by the fact that it was His declaration of the nature of the Kingdom of God, it is important that we realize that Luke's "editing" has raised the bar even higher. In other words, if one is inclined in any sense to ignore anything that the Bible has to say, it ought not to be anything in this record.
Perhaps the greatest problem for all of us is that we do not take the reality of our existence in God's reality seriously enough. Perhaps the reason for this is that the burden of having a part in a creation by a God of finality is too great for any of us to bear. The very idea that our present attitude, our present ignorance, our present actions, and our present presence in God's creation all have potent implications for the quality of our experience tomorrow and the next day and all of the days after that -- the very idea is too heavy to bear ... unless there is some way that they can be turned into tools to bring us good.
This is the nature of our hope: God has declared Himself to be willing to work everything together for our good. But, this willingness is not without qualification. This morning we are going to consider what it is that is required by God for Him to be willing to enter into our burden and make it "light".
May 11, 2008
- I. The Nature of a "Parable".
- A. It is a "casting of one thing alongside of another".
- B. It is the use of the extremely familiar to give insight into the extremely difficult.
- C. It is a declaration that the difficult is difficult; there is no point to the use of a parable in situations where both concepts are equally familiar.
- II. The Specifics of Jesus' Parable.
- A. The first part of the "extremely familiar" element: the need of a blind man for "guidance" along an unfamiliar path.
- 1. It is true that those who are blind can become extremely adept at living in this world.
- 2. But it is also true that the ability to see lessens the load by an enormous degree.
- 3. And it is true that even sighted people often get into difficult, if not deadly, situations in spite of their ability to see.
- 4. Thus, everyone is readily familiar with the first part of Jesus' parable.
- B. The second part of the "extremely familiar" element: the foolishness of attempting to meet the need for "guidance" by getting another "blind" person to provide for that need.
- 1. It is true that two blind people can be "twice as cautious".
- 2. But it is also true that two blind people "double" the difficulty of progress because there are two decision makers.
- C. The first part of the "extremely difficult" element: identifying what Jesus calls "being blind".
- 1. In what sense are people "blind" who have perfectly good eyes?
- a. Clearly, Jesus was dealing, not with visible objects, but with invisible concepts.
- b. Just as clearly, Jesus was declaring those "blind" who do not understand how "Life" works.
- 2. About what are people "blind" who have perfectly good eyes?
- a. So, what is it about "Life" that is so hard to see?
- b. To answer, consider the context...
- 1) First, the "bigger" issue: Jesus is teaching.
- a) "Blindness", then, has initially to do with what a person thinks about where he gets the conclusions he draws.
- i. Either God has spoken, or He has not.
- ii. If He has, those are blind who say He has not.
- b) Since Jesus was speaking "for God", He did not even entertain the possibility that God has not spoken (His meaning for "the blind" is that people who refuse to give an ear to God nullify their eyes in the process).
- 2) Second, the "somewhat lesser" issue: "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
- a) "Blindness", then, has subsequently to do with the attitude of the person who thinks God has spoken vanity.
- i. Among the many who declare that they believe that God has spoken there are many whose declaration is made hypocrisy by their refusal to believe Him.
- ii. If God has spoken, how can anyone claim to "see" and refuse to trust?
- b) Since Jesus was clearly disappointed in the hypocrisy of calling Him "Lord" while refusing to act on His instruction, He must have meant that they are "blind" who take a casual approach to God's words.
- 3) Third, the "heart" of the issue: using God's words to exalt oneself.
- a) The "blindness" parable is followed by two pronounced "problems" of self-exaltation.
- i. The "disciple" who wishes to be considered as "above" his master.
- ii. The "disciple" who wishes to be considered as "above" his brethren.
- b) These two "problems" are actually contained in the parable itself: a blind guide offering his services to the blind [Note Romans 2:19].
- c) These two "problems" actually spring from one problem: the "corruption" of the tree.
- i. In Romans 2:29 Paul says that the reality of true conversion is a shift from seeking the praise of men to seeking the praise of God.
- ii. The reality, however, is that most bury this reality so deeply that they blindly use God to promote themselves...they do not even realize that they are doing it because they are blind.
- III. Jesus' Meaning.
- A. He made, by many means, "the compassion of the Father" the heart of His doctrine of the essential nature of the Kingdom of God.
- B. He revealed, by many words, that it is a false "compassion" that does the easy stuff and leaves the hard stuff undone ("what manner of grace is in you?").
- C. He claimed that those who would be His disciples for any reason other than His Father's compassion are "blind" and in no position to guide anyone.