Have you ever been so "blind" you couldn't see what was right in front of you? Obviously I'm not talking about true physical blindness, but rather being so blind to the world around you, you can't see reality. I've been there. It's not a good place to be. Whether it's blindness about your marriage, your kids, your job, your health, your relationship with God. Whatever. It's not good to be blind. All kinds of bad things can happen while we suffer from blindness. A current example: Whitney Houston. She and the people around her turned a blind-eye to her problems. Her funeral is today. I imagine her friends, family and handlers are feeling a lot of guilt, pain and sadness because of blindness. Living in blindness is dangerous.
There is a story in Matthew 12 about some blind Pharisees. Oh, they could see perfectly well. In fact, they saw things with their eyes that made them blind to the Truth in front of them. In verse one we find Jesus and his disciples walking through a grainfield on the Sabbath. The disciples are hungry so they snap off a few heads of grain and eat them. No big deal, right? Wrong, at least to the Pharisees. "Look!" they said to Jesus. "Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath." (v. 2) Instead of seeing the situation and who they were talking to, they chose to nit-pick about a few heads of grain. Instead of saying something like, "Why don't you and your disciples come to my house to eat" or "Let me buy some bread for your disciples" they chose to go negative.
Jesus and his disciples move on. So do the Pharisees. They all go to the synagogue. A man with a shriveled hand is there. Obviously these Pharisees have knowledge that Jesus can heal people because they try to trap him. "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" they ask Jesus. (v. 10)
Let's stop a moment and think about that. How incredibly selfish those men were! They didn't have one thought for the man with the shriveled hand. They'd probably seen him many times before, probably ignored him as they went about their "religious" busyness. Their greatest concern was keeping the Law. A man with a shriveled hand and his difficulties were of little importance.
Jesus, however, cares more about people than about laws. Does that mean it's fine to break the commandment, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy?" (Exodus 20:8) Of course not. But do you really think God would mind it if a man's hand was healed on His day?!
The part of this passage that absolutely blows my mind is Matthew 12:13:
"Then [Jesus] said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus."
Are you serious?! They watch a miracle happen right before their eyes and all they can think about is killing the man responsible?! Wow. I've known several people who were born with hand and arm deformities. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to see that hand restored right before my eyes! But the Pharisees didn't give a darn about the hand or the man. All they knew was Jesus had defied them. They were blind to what was right in front of them. Instead of rejoicing and praising God for what they had just witnessed, they went out and plotted a murder.
Blindness is dangerous, folks. I can't say that enough.
Are you blind to some truths that are staring you in the face? Today is a good day to look around you and really see things. Who knows what you might find. A restored marriage? Healthy relationships with your kids? A Savior?
This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Philippines, Slovenia, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Ukraine, Singapore, Malaysia