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What does spiritual blindness look like?

Unblinding the Lost

Blind people are unable to see the beauty of God’s creation. Likewise, people who are spiritually blind do not see the beauty of the One who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

If you see Jesus as your Savior, you have spiritual sight into God’s plan of salvation. If you do not know Christ, you are spiritually blind and lost in your sins. Those who walk in spiritual darkness tend to either completely disregard Jesus, or to view Him only as a moral teacher, in which case He is assumed to be a lawgiver like Moses.

Spiritually blind people do not see their sins the way God sees them, nor do they see the solution God provided for their sins. They fail to see the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and how Christ's atoning death unlocked the door to Paradise.

Imagine a blind person walking across a busy highway oblivious to oncoming traffic. Similarly, people who are spiritually blind do not see their appointed day in God’s courtroom barreling down the highway in their direction (2 Corinthians 5:10). The only way to avert disaster is to repent and trust Christ alone for salvation.

Rather than humbly praying, “Wash me, Jesus, with your precious blood,” people who are spiritually blind see no reason to place their faith in Christ. 

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Christians see the cross of Christ as the only way that man is made right with God. Believers see the cross in all of its redemptive power. Followers of Christ understand the Gospel, but we cannot take any credit for our spiritual sight.

“God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4,5).

Spiritual sight is a privilege that none of us deserve. And yet God in his mercy has chosen “to open eyes that are blind … and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7). 

People who are spiritually blind do not see Jesus as the Savior of their soul. They do not see the reason the Father sent His only Son to die on the cross, and they do not see the fact that the blood of Jesus washes away the sins of those who trust the Messiah for salvation.

Spiritual blindness often accompanies a religious life, and yet there is no life from God within your soul until you are saved, redeemed, born again, justified and forgiven. The miracle of conversion occurs on the front end of your relationship with God. Blindness is replaced with sight, and darkness is replaced with light. Uncertainty about God is replaced with God’s love.

“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).

It is impossible to gain spiritual sight without the Holy Spirit performing “spiritual surgery” on your soul. This supernatural surgery heals spiritual blindness. You suddenly see the Lord as you rely upon what Jesus did on the cross to rescue you from sin and death.

Compare the miracle of conversion to what happened in the New Testament whenever Jesus healed someone’s physical blindness.

“As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you;’ and their sight was restored” (Matthew 9:27-30).

What if those two blind men had not believed that Jesus was able to perform this miracle for them? Jesus healed them “according to their faith.” Likewise, the Lord gives people spiritual sight according to their faith. After all, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

“Then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned to her and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment” (Matthew 9:18-22).

This gives us a picture of how spiritual blindness is healed. Whenever someone comes to Christ in faith seeking forgiveness, the Lord performs the miracle on the spot. Conversion is instantaneous. One minute you are spiritually blind, and the next minute you can see, even if the process of coming to faith in Jesus involved months of contemplation.

What does spiritual blindness look like? It looks hopelessly empty and dark. It looks at Christ from a worldly perspective rather than a biblical perspective. And it looks at sin as no big deal, rather than as the spiritual cancer that separates man from God.

Do you see Jesus as your Savior from sin, or are you blind to your sin and to the Redeemer who loves you? The Lord will gladly save your soul if you will come to Him in faith and place your trust in His death for your sins.

The Messiah made the following statement when he began his earthly ministry: “The people living in darkness have seen a great light” (Matthew 4:16).

Have you seen the light of Christ, or do you remain in spiritual darkness? Repent of your sins as you call on the Lord today. Faith in the blood of Jesus and reliance upon Christ’s death for your sins is what turns spiritual darkness into spiritual light, and spiritual blindness into spiritual sight.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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