In the first case, unlike my physical blind spots, spiritual blind spots are almost always the fault of the one who has them. After healing the blind man in John 9, Jesus naturally turned that around, contrasting a blind man whom he was able to heal, with men who could not be healed of their spiritual blindness. Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind. Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains (John 9:39-41). They were not disposed to see the truth because of their pride and self-righteousness. Similarly, we cannot see the truth when we won't acknowledge our faults and arrogantly proclaim ourselves blameless. We do this by saying, "I have sinned, we all sin," but never confessing any specific sin, becoming, instead, miffed that anyone might think we have any. It's a blind spot for us.
In another place, Jesus says of the Pharisees after his disciples warned him that he had offended them, Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit (Matt 15:14). When Jesus came debunking their traditions, the same traditions by which they held power over the common people, they were murderously angry. The possibility of losing their power, authority, and status blinded them to the truth he taught. What is it we are afraid of losing? If we are not careful, it may blind us to the saving power of the Lord's teaching, and where would that blind spot leave us?
Peter warns us of another blind spot. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins (2Pet 1:9). And what qualities is he referring to? Faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love, those things we commonly call "the Christian graces." Yet I have heard people downplay these items, joking about having one or two and hoping that's good enough, or simply making a statement like, "No one's perfect, so don't expect all of this out of me." If that is how we feel about self-control or brotherly affection—perhaps the two most often pooh-poohed—then we do indeed have a blind spot about what it really means to be a Christian. Perhaps the warning in Isaiah is pertinent here: And he said, Go, and say to this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed (Isa 6:9-10). Scary thought, indeed.
And John shows us another blind spot to beware of. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1John 2:11).This one shows in all sorts of ways. Just why do we have "issues" with a brother? Because we disagree on a passage? Because he "hurt my feelings"? (Is there anything that sounds more childish?) Because I don't like his personality? Because he is another race? Because he is from the wrong family? Any sort of bias is a blind spot in our thinking, and John says that equates to walking in darkness, and Jesus also said, The one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going, John 12:35.
John also warned the Laodiceans that self-satisfaction and complacency could blind them to their true condition before God. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Rev 3:17).
Did you realize that so much was said about spiritual blindness? Actually, this is not all of it, but enough, I hope, to get us all thinking. My physical blind spots will probably have only one outcome. But our spiritual blind spots can be cured as quickly and easily as Jesus healed the blind man of his day. Let's work together for that glorious end.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2Cor 4:4-6).