Of recent,a blind woman was brought to the bank premises by a lady.The latter went in to withdraw money while she left the blind woman in a ‘safe’ place in front of the bank.The blind woman,who was left few meters in front of a parked car,was jolted to the blaring of horn by the driver of the car.
Many people around,including the driver never knew the woman was blind: She was well dressed,had good make up on her face,her eyes were intact,no dark spectacle. Nothing in her suggested that she was blind,until the driver noticed she was walking towards the same direction of the oncoming car! Before he could apply the brake,the car had hit the blind woman.
Physical blindness is bad but to be spiritually blind is worse.What does it mean to be spiritually blind? What are the causes and symptoms? Are their any treatment?
Spiritual blindness can be defined along three different spiritual states of people.
1)Those that their eyes are not matured enough to see.Spiritual blindness,in this category is the ability to ‘look’ at things without ‘seeing’ them.There is a difference between looking and seeing. Webster dictionary says that to look means to direct your eyes in a particular direction, while to see, you must notice or become aware of someone or something by using your eyes.
A newly born baby can look at you but he/she cannot see you.Seeing involves matured higher mental faculties and specifically for full visual comprehension to take place,the neural pathway of vision in the brain must be well developed.Hence,as the baby grows,he/she will be able to recognise daddy and mummy when they come in.
Jesus spoke in parables to multitude of people in Matt 13:13:”That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see…”
In other words,they could see a lot of miracles he did but they didn’t have an understanding of His personality and mission.They were spiritually immature to discern things.Are you a spiritual babe?
2)Those that are born blind.These people have never experienced what it means to look or see unlike the case above that can look but can’t see. Jesus healed a man born blind not only to demonstrate the possibility of this category of blindness spiritually but also to show us that He could heal such level of spiritual blindness:
“ As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth…After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.”- John 9 vs 1& 6
The hallmark of this category of people is that they don’t know Christ! They are yet to come to the knowledge of truth.They may talk about God,they may even be religious fanatics ,like Saul on his way to Damascus,trying to expand the ‘kingdom of God’ with all their power and might.However,since they are yet to know Christ personally,they are spiritually blind. Do you know that the man born blind that Jesus healed didn’t even know anything about Christ? How do I know? Let’s look at the conversation between the man and Christ after the healing:
When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, He found the man and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Who is He, Sir?” he replied. “Tell me so that I may believe in Him.”You have already seen Him,” Jesus answered. “He is the One speaking with you.”
What you just read is the spiritual aspect of this man’s blindness.There are many people around us that are born blind! They do not have spiritual eyes at all. These people need to have eyes implanted into their eye sockets first before they are introduced to spiritual principles.
3) Those that have diseased eyes.This is the worst category anyone can belong! They once had good eyesight.They were once in the forefront of leading the blind along the right path but suddenly they either lose their sight or they are unable to see clearly because their eyes are now dim.
An example that came to mind is the story of a blind man Jesus healed in Bethsaida. Unlike the earlier case mentioned,this man was not born blind.He once could see with his eyes but suddenly lost his sight.
How do I know? Let me quote one statement made by the man that could establish my point:
“When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
How would he have known about trees if he had not being able to see before?
What could have caused this sudden vision loss? Could it be glaucoma? Or cataract? Or secondary to a systemic illness? The bible didn’t specifically tell us.One thing is sure,the man was once able to see! Spiritually too there are things that could suddenly make a believer to lose his/her spiritual insight.
In summary,spiritual blindness can be defined in terms of an immature visual pathway,sight that was never there ab initio(congenital blindness) or an impaired eyesight secondary to insults/disease.