WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
TOPIC: BLIND LEADERS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14 New King James Version).
Both physical and spiritual blindness are not good. A blind person is at the risk of missing his way, going astray, or falling into the ditch. He is susceptible to all forms of danger. People can take advantage of him because he cannot see and is unaware of what is happening around him physically or spiritually.
However, as bad as being blind is, it is worse when the blind is being led by a blind leader. This is double trouble. A blind person being led by someone who can see has an advantage over a blind person who is being led by a blind leader or guide.
In Matthew 15, the scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem came to Jesus and asked Him why His disciples transgressed the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands when they ate bread. Jesus, in reply, asked why they also transgressed the commandment of God because of their tradition (verses 1-3).
Jesus said God’s command was to honour one’s father and mother and whoever cursed his father or mother should be put to death. But the scribes and Pharisees said people didn’t need to honour their parents by caring for their needs if they gave to God instead. This was the practice of Corban, a gift or offering consecrated/dedicated to God. The word “Corban” is used only once in the Bible: Mark 7:11. “Anything over which this word was once pronounced was irrevocably dedicated to the temple” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).
By their doctrine of Corban, the Pharisees exempted the people from fulfilling their responsibility to their parents. Jesus noted that the scribes and Pharisees had made the commandment of God of no effect by their tradition (verses 4-6). The tradition of the elders was not part of the laws of Moses. It was the oral law handed down by the elders from the times of Moses.
Jesus said, “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (verses 7-9 New King James Version).
The scribes and Pharisees were religious leaders and were expected to know the scriptures and explain the word of God to the people. But, unfortunately, they led the people astray by teaching them errors. They taught as doctrines the commandments of men rather than teaching the commandments of God.
They elevated their traditions to be as sacred as the commandments of God. Their tradition was even more important to them than the laws God gave the people through Moses. They were interested in enforcing the tradition of hand-washing but not interested in teaching the people to obey God’s command to honour their parents.
After Jesus had finished with the scribes and Pharisees, he explained to the multitude that what went into the mouth did not defile a man but what came out of it. His disciples called his attention to the fact that the Pharisees were offended when they heard His saying and He answered that every plant that His heavenly Father had not planted would be uprooted.
Jesus added, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14 New King James Version). The scribes and Pharisees were blind leaders. They were leading the people astray by their wrong teaching. They were not the kind of leaders the blind need. The blind need people with a very sound sight so that they would not fall into the ditch. An ignorant teacher will not be helpful to his students who are desirous of acquiring the right knowledge.
The apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:6-7 that some people, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. Also, the apostle James warns in James 3:1, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (New King James Version). Teaching is a great responsibility.
Wittingly or unwittingly, blind spiritual leaders who engage in teaching the word of God may become false teachers. They may be teaching heresy because of ignorance. They could make their doctrines or church traditions sound like Bible doctrines and they could be far from what the Bible teaches.
Blind leaders. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3 New King James Version).
No wonder Paul told Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 New King James Version). Earlier in 1 Timothy 4:16, he had warned him, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (New King James Version). Take heed to yourself and what you teach. Don’t be a blind leader of the blind so that you don’t both fall into a ditch.
Blind leaders. In Matthew 23:16, Jesus referred to the scribes and Pharisees as blind guides because of hypocritical teaching. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it” (Matthew 23:16-22 New King James Version).
In verse 24, Jesus also called the scribes and Pharisees blind guides for straining their water so that they wouldn’t accidentally swallow a gnat, then they swallowed a camel! He equally said the scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites who cleansed the outside of the cup and dish but inside, they were full of extortion and self-indulgence (verse 25). “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (verse 26 New King James Version).
Beware of hypocrisy. Don’t become a blind leader or guide. Receive the truth and walk in it. Preach and teach the truth. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). The apostle John said, “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 3-4 New King James Version).
Don’t be a blind leader. If you lack knowledge, seek it. Don’t fall into a ditch together with those you lead. No leader goes into error alone. He takes his followers along with him. “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed” (Isaiah 9:16 New King James Version).
Referring to Israel’s irresponsible leaders, Isaiah 56:10 says, “His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (New King James Version).
Jesus said in John 9:39 that He came to judge the world, that those who did not see might see, and those who could see might be made blind. This latter part of the scripture means to show those who think they see that they are blind. But some of the Pharisees who heard Him asked if they were blind also (verse 40). “Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see’. Therefore your sin remains’” (verse 41 New King James Version).
Because they didn’t acknowledge their spiritual blindness, they could not be helped. Don’t persist in your blindness. Humble yourself. Acknowledge your blindness. Come to Jesus. Let Him anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see (Revelation 3:18).
Don’t be a blind leader. Be a true leader. Be a true shepherd. Peter says, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4 New King James Version).
Jesus says, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:39-40 New King James Version). Don’t be a blind leader.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: O Lord, open my eyes that I may see. Father, open the eyes of all blind leaders and the blind following them; save them from falling into the ditch. Bring out all those who have already fallen into the ditch. Let them know the truth, and let the truth make them free.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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