â€œWoe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!â€ (Matthew 23:16)
The 23rd chapter of Matthew contains some harsh denunciations as Jesus delivers the eight â€œwoes.â€ Even the Greek word is a bit eerie; it is pronounced â€œoo-ah-ee!â€ Can you imagine this series of stern admonitions delivered to the faces of these self-righteous manipulators of truth? â€œOo-ah-ee you scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, hypocrites!â€ It must have given chills to everyone there.
The blindness that Jesus was condemning has both a practical and spiritual impact. Obviously, if one does not understand simple truth, the result is going to be either embarrassing or painful. â€œThey be blind leaders of the blind,â€ Jesus said. â€œAnd if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditchâ€ (Matthew 15:14).
The great Creator of the universe knows best how to guide His creation. If we, the stewards (Genesis 1:28), do not know or understand the Creatorâ€™s instructions, we are bound to get into trouble. That â€œtruth blindnessâ€ often results in â€œblind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camelâ€ (Matthew 23:24).
But the greater blindness is spiritual. Peter listed attributes on how to grow in faith and gain assurance. Then he advised, â€œBut he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sinsâ€ (2 Peter 1:9).
In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus warned Laodicea, â€œBecause thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and nakedâ€ (Revelation 3:17). His counsel: â€œBuy of me gold . . . and white raiment . . . and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest seeâ€ (Revelation 3:18). HMM III