Spiritual blindness incurable? This section closes with a statement from the Pharisees that makes the reversibility of the condition improbable.
Jesus healed two blind men. He said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ Again as in the last scene, there is a desperation associated with this faith, a sense of ‘nowhere else to turn.’ For effective prayer, I need this sense of dependency, a sense of “you God are my only hope.” If I approach God with a backup plan in mind, my prayer will not be answered—guaranteed! Persistence in prayer returns me to the place where I confess straying of mind and doubt, ask God to help me overcome my unbelief, and keep believing.
Then after healing the two blind men, he cast out a demon so that a mute man can now speak.
The Pharisees attributed this to an association with the prince of demons. Elsewhere Jesus points out the stupidity and absurdity of this in Matthew 12:25-28. Their level of absurdity indicates the severity of their pride and spiritual blindness, Proverbs 26:12.
Pride chokes faith and causes spiritual blindness. The spiritual blindness of the Pharisees resulted from years of self-inflicted spiritual pride. Sometimes like the synagogue ruler in the last post, a major crisis enables a person trapped in pride to reject a life foundation of self and pride. Without rejection of pride, spiritual blindness is incurable.
Is spiritual blindness incurable? Yes, as long as I avoid God and insist on my own way.
Overcoming Pride the Cause of Spiritual Blindness
I have found the following practice a good way to overcome spiritual blindness and pride of all kinds.
- I have spent long sessions in prayer confessing my pride and asking God to keep me aware of it and show it to me when it rises up.
- When I sense it, I confess it immediately and ask God to heal me of it.
- I use Psalm 131 as a baseline of my emotional stability and peace. When I deviate from it, I ask God to heal me and bring back to his peace and restore me to his rest.
- Almost always if I sense tension and strife in my life, pride is there. Proverbs 13:10
- I repeat step two as frequently as necessary.
Matthew 9:27-34 ESV – 27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”
30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district. 32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”
- Do I feel angry, upset, or tense? What am I possibly prideful about?
- What is to be gained by keeping my pride? Why would I want to remain in this condition?
- Is being right about something worth being angry, upset, and tense?
- Is winning worth being angry, upset, or tense?
- Why do I think I’m better qualified to deal with this than God?
- Who wins if I give this over to God to work out?
Father, heal my spiritual blindness and pride. I confess that sometimes I forget who knows best. You see all and know all across time and space. I give this over to you. I confess my pride and ask that you heal me. Heal me to experience your peace and to demonstrate your love. I give all of my plans and understanding over to you. Burn away what is foolish. Give me wisdom and your sight and heal my blindness.