Spiritual Blindness
Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted…

The recovering of sight to the blind. We think of -

I. THE BADNESS OF BLINDNESS, and its degrees. "It must be very bad to be blind," we say; probably we but faintly realize what it means.

1. It is bad to be physically blind - to look on no scenery, to read no book, to behold no countenance, to recognize no love in a human face, to grope our way in the thick darkness.

2. It is worse to be mentally blind - to see, and not to see; to open the eyes on the beauty and wonder and glory of the universe and to recognize nothing beautiful, wonderful, glorious, there; to be as lonely in a library as in a cell!

3. It is worse still to be morally blind - blind of soul, so that a man can see nothing degraded in drunkenness, nothing shameful in vice, nothing revolting in obscenity and profanity, nothing repelling in selfishness; so that a man can see nothing noble in generosity, nothing beautiful in beneficence, nothing regal in righteousness and duty, nothing sacred in human love.

4. It is worst of all to be spiritually blind - worst, because that is the root and source of all the others; blindness of spirit, a darkness in which the soul fails to see the Highest of all beings, the loftiest of all truths, the greatest of all facts; a darkness in which the soul fails to recognize the essential truth that in God we "live, and move, and have our being," and that to him we are responsible for all we are and have; in which it is blind to our sorrowful state of guilt and condemnation in the sight of God.

II. THE WORST FEATURE OF SPIRITUAL PRIVATION. That which is the best feature in physical is the worst in spiritual blindness. Under the merciful principle of accommodation, the blind became not only submissive, but contented and even cheerful in the darkness in which they dwell. They are able not only to speak of it, but to feel about it that it is "the shadow of God's wing." That is a very happy thing; but that is the very worst feature of spiritual blindness. It is spiritual insensibility that is the most deplorable - the fact that men don't know that they don't see; that they suppose themselves to know everything when they know nothing; that they are not aware what a world of truth and blessedness is around them and is accessible to them. Who shall reveal this to them?

III. CHRIST THE GREAT RESTORER of our spiritual vision. And how does he make us see that to which, but for him, we should have remained blind?

1. By making quite plain and certain that which would have remained shadowy and uncertain. Many truths of vital importance men would, in his absence, have speculated upon and discussed, but they would not have known them. Coming to us from God, the great Teacher has turned these uncertainties into living and sustaining truth. He tells us authoritatively and decisively that God is the one Divine Spirit, the righteous Ruler of all, the Father of souls, condemning them in their sin, pitying them in their estrangement, inviting them to return; that God has determined that when we die we shall live again, shall come forth to a resurrection of condemnation or of life.

2. By bringing the truth close home to the eye of the soul. When our Lord lived on earth he did this himself in his own Person; e.g. in the cases of the woman of Samaria, the rich young ruler, Nicodemus, he brought the truth of the kingdom home to the heart and the conscience. Those lips are closed to us now; Christ speaks not now as he spoke then. But his Spirit is with us still, speaking through his Word and through his faithful servants, and through his providence.

3. By more fully enlightening the minds of those who go in faith to seek and to serve him. Unto all seeking and trusting souls he manifests his truth in ever-enlarging fullness; them he leads "into all the truth" they need to know; and to them it becomes gloriously true that the Spirit of the Lord has anointed him, their Savior, for "the recovering of sight to the blind." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

WEB: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed,

Preaching the Gospel
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