On Sunday we looked at the second and third “woe” of Jesus. And a series examining the “woes” of Jesus isn’t something that is generally fun, but it’s so needed. We, as a culture, don’t do great with responsibility and reflection; we do blame, turning a blind eye and busyness really well. Which is why we need Lent to slow down, reflect, and listen to God’s Spirit.
So on Sunday we looked at how Jesus calls the Pharisees blind. How they believe they are helping God, but are in the way of God’s movement. How they go to great lengths to make converts but because they are blind, make them twice as bad. How rather than condemning making oaths that you intend to get out, they implicitly agree with it. How they are blind and don’t even know it.
And that’s the trouble with spiritual blindness, you don’t know you are. You think you see things clearly when you are actually on the wrong side of God’s movement.
And we only have to look back a little ways in history to see how often people in the church have been on the wrong side of the Spirit of God’s movement. When we look at how people argued slavery was ordained by God, how women are inferior to men, how it’s right to kill in Jesus’ name in the crusades, or more recently, how the church treats people with mental health challenges. I could go on and on about how we have clearly been blind in the past to the movement of God.
I brought this up because if people in the past were sure they weren’t blind, but turned out they were – then we need to acknowledge the fact that we most likely are blind in some ways to the move of God as well. That if the religious, moral, and spiritual elite (Pharisees) got it wrong, if the church has got it wrong in the past, how can we be sure we have it all right? So the challenge though is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know where we are spiritually blind.
So we landed on this main point: In our blindness we can oppose the movement of God. And the way we discover our blindness certainly doesn’t come from listening to my voice or words, but from the voice and words of the Spirit. So we challenged ourselves to pray a radical prayer daily this week: God Reveal the areas of blindness in me.
The only way we will discover our blindness and be healed from it is if we listen and hear the Spirit speaking to us. Because I know there are areas in my life I’m spiritually blind, and I need to see clearly to follow clearly. So that’s our challenge ask Jesus to reveal areas of blindness to you, and listen for him so we can follow clearly.
Big Idea: In our blindness we can oppose the movement of God.
- We, as a culture, don’t do great with responsibility and reflection; we do blame, turning a blind eye and busyness really well.
- Holy Spirit if we are missing the point show us.
- It’s not enough to follow God, You have to follow God in the right way.
- If you have a false idea of God, the more religious you are, the worse it is for you – it were better for you to be an atheist. William Temple
- In our blindness we can oppose the movement of God.
- We’re all blind but didn’t know it.
- The way we will discover our own blindness is to listen to the Spirit.
- Reveal the areas of blindness in me.
Adult Discussion Questions:
What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? What was new? Have you practiced Lent before? Why or why not? Is there something you could give up this year for Lent? Have you ever considered that you might be “spiritually blind”? Can you think of other examples of “spiritual blindness”? Why is being spiritually blind so very dangerous? Are there any areas you feel you might be blind to?
Challenge for the Week: God Reveal the areas of blindness in me.