Blind Leading the Blind? The Lord was not mocking the physically disabled. He was using this obvious example for his parable illustration. If you can imagine a person coming up to a blind man and saying, ‘Sir you are so blind! You can’t see anything. Will you teach me how to be this blind? I want to be just like you.’ 

PARABLES OF JESUS
By Pastor Delbert Young

Blind Leading the Blind

Blind Leading the Blind

Scriptures: Luke 6:37-45, Luke 6:39, Proverbs 18:21, Luke 6:37-38, Luke 6:40, Luke 6:41-42, Luke 6:43-44, Luke 6:45, Proverbs 18:21

 Luke 6:37-45 Luke 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

 Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

CONTEXT

Jesus in the midst of speaking about judging, giving, disciples and masters, the beam in the eye, knowing a tree by its fruits, and from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, inserted the parable about the blind leading the blind. How are all these linked? What relevance was there between the blind leading the blind and judging, or giving, or a tree? My commentaries tell me we should not concern ourselves with linking all these. The commentary says these are simply “golden sentences” from Jesus.  (1) However, I know better. I know there is always a context connection. With a little study and prayer, we will observe the connection.

CAN THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND?

Jesus is not giving us a teaching about being blind. He is utilizing the difficulty of a blind person’s mobility to give kingdom truths. Can the blind lead the blind? Absolutely. The blind can certainly lead the blind. Jesus is not saying they cannot. It is the results he is emphasizing. He answered his own question with a question saying, Shall they not both fall into the ditch? (Luk 6:39).

The word translated ditch actually means a pit and is translated pit in Matthew 12:11 where the sheep falls into the pit on the Sabbath day. The ditch is the many crises we continually find ourselves in and attempting to climb out of only to fall into another. The blind leading the blind is the problem. Jesus used this natural dilemma to convey a spiritual problem. We fall into ditches and pits because we are following spiritually blind people or a spiritually blind heart. It’s the blind leading the blind. From the good treasure of the heart comes that which is good. From the evil treasure of the heart comes forth that which is evil.

The results of our following the blind is disastrous. We fall. We bruise something or break something. A fall is never good. The teaching is about avoiding the ditches of life. Avoid the blind leading the blind.

A. Give and It Shall Be Given Unto You

 Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

 Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

1. Context is not money – Though we have all often heard Luke 6:38 quoted in terms of giving money, in actuality this is not at all what Jesus is teaching. Paul said concerning money if we give sparingly we will reap sparingly and if we give abundantly we will reap abundantly (2Co 9:6). Jesus is teaching the results (ditch) of judgmentcondemning, and forgiveness. The importance of knowing this is by judging others, we are judging ourselves and will find ourselves in a ditch.

Jesus said if we learn not to judge, we will not be judged. If we learn to not condemn, we will not be condemned. If we learn to forgive, we shall be forgiven. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

2. Avoid the ditch – The first thing we need to learn about avoiding a ditch is to not judge others or to hang with people who are judgmental. The thought of judging here is allowing something in my heart to come out my mouth. It is a verbal judgment condemning and criticizing. It directs my life toward a ditch. Forgiveness, on the other hand, avoids the ditch. If I follow forgiveness, I avoid the ditch.

We owe it to each other when we hear a believer being judgmental and condemning to tell them. If we hear it, we avoid the ditch.

B. Disciples and Masters

 Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

1. Context – The Lord told the parable and then said the disciple (student) is not above his master (teacher). The student cannot be better than (above) his teacher. At best every one that is perfect shall be as his masterEveryone who is fully trained will be like his teacher (NIV). Thus, if the teacher is really blind, the student will be really blind. It’s the blind leading the blind.

The Lord was not mocking the physically disabled by any means. He was using this obvious example for his parable illustration. If you can imagine a person coming up to a blind man and saying, “Sir you are so blind! You can’t see anything. Will you teach me how to be this blind? I want to be just like you. I don’t want to be able to see anything.” The blind man answered, “Certainly, I will teach you. You simply follow me. I will teach you how to be just like me.” It’s much like this today – the blind leading the blind.

2. Avoid the ditch – The second thing we must learn to avoid the ditches of life is to make certain those who teach us are in the light and can see. If we follow a blind teacher, we fall into a ditch. If we make certain our teacher can see, we avoid the ditch. We avoid the ditches of life by avoiding the blind leading the blind.

The parable is a warning to God’s people. We all recognize how important it is to attend a church having vision and has ministries who can see the things of the Spirit. If the person teaching us is in error, then at best we will be in error just like the person teaching us. In Matthew 15:14 Jesus told this parable specifically aimed at the Pharisees who were offended because Jesus had told them how stupid they were to think eating with unwashed hands defiled a person. Yet for generations they had continued to teach this commandment of men and the blind kept leading the blind and both kept falling in the ditch. It’s the blind leading the blind.

I need a little mercy here. Don’t judge me or condemn me. Do you love me? We recognize how important it is to have a pastor / teacher who can see. Yet, we often allow our children to be taught by blind people walking in darkness. And if the blind lead the blind . . .

C. Mote and Beam

 Luke 6:41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

 Luke 6:42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

1. Context – Following the same thought, Jesus continues speaking about the eyes, but this time the story is about something in the eye. A person has a beam (plank) in his eye. Another has a mote (speck of sawdust). The person with the plank in his eye is going to attempt to remove the speck from the other’s eye.

We need to attempt to imagine this. I can’t help but think as the Lord told this, he was smiling as he pictured it himself. Here is this guy with a 2X4 sticking out of his eye. He is deeply concerned about a brother who has a speck in his eye, but not concerned at all about the plank in his own eye. The one with the plank says, “Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye.” You say, “This is humanly impossible for a person to have a 2X4 sticking out of their eye.” You are totally correct. It is also totally impossible for a person with a dumbfounded life to instruct others. Can you imagine yourself in the chair awaiting the Optometrist and when he or she walks in they have a plank protruding out of their eye socket?

2. Avoid the ditch – The third important issue involved in avoiding the ditches of life is to be certain we remove the obvious obstructions in our lives. Also make certain the people we speak with and listen to do not have a dumbfounded obstructed life.

I have had a lot of people with a 2X4 in their eye giving advice to me. The sad part is sometimes I took their advice. I allowed people to minister to me and touch my life who were in a far greater mess than I. When I came into the kingdom of God and allowed Jesus to begin to lead me, I found there is advice I can receive through prayer and his word and through people who truly care about me who do not have planks in their eyes.

RECOGNIZING THE SPIRITUALLY BLIND PERSON OR HEART

The Lord does not want us following a spiritually blind person nor a spiritually blind heart. He explains how we can recognize either. The ditches of life can be avoided.

 Luke 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

 Luke 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

a. Good tree / Corrupt tree

First using the example of a good tree, Jesus said it is impossible for a good tree to bring froth corrupt fruit. Perhaps a better or another way to say this would be it is impossible for an apple tree to bring forth pine cones. It is just as impossible for a corrupt tree to bring forth good fruit. It is just as impossible for a pine tree to produce apples. The analogy is good teaching will bring forth good results. Bad teaching will bring forth bad results. It is impossible for good teaching to produce ditches. It is impossible for bad teaching to produce anything but ditches.

b. every tree is known by… The Lord then said every tree is known by his own fruit. If I look at a tree growing apples then I know it is an apple tree. It is not a pine. If I look at a tree growing figs then it is a fig tree. It is not a thorn-bush. If I look at a vine producing grapes then it is a grape-vine and not a bramble bush.

If I look at a good teacher, I should see something produced from it. It should be just as obvious as looking at a tree and should stand out like a person with a plank sticking out of their eye.

c. Avoid the ditches

To avoid the ditches and crises of life, I must be able to recognize first my own heart and then the hearts of others. I must ask, “Is what I am doing producing good fruit or corrupt fruit?” I must ask, “Is this person’s life producing good fruit or corrupt fruit?”

Before I came into the kingdom of God, I was not a good tree. My life was not producing what I knew I was born to produce. I had a lot of things (and a lot of debt), but was empty and void inside. In the kingdom I began to be fulfilled. The emptiness began to fill with righteousness, peace, and joy. Not long afterwards, I was out of debt and still had my things. Every part of my life was better. I had something else in my heart. I began to produce a productive life. From this new life and new heart, Life Gate church came. I now bring forth good fruit and fruit that remains. Something happened in my heart. Jesus ended the parable saying,

 Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Our hearts control our mouths and our mouths control our lives. The Bible says death and life are in the power of the tongue. We set forth our future by what we say from our hearts. In 1978 I changed what came out of my mouth because I changed what was in my heart.

 Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Jesus said we know them by the fruit they produce and by what they say. If we will simply listen, sooner or later the heart will be revealed by the words spoken. It might be a flash (parable of the Good Samaritan, i.e., “Who is my neighbor”), but it will happen.

Other Related Sermons:

Create Your World – sermon audio notes

Speak to Your Mountains – sermon notes

1.  Matthew Henry’s Commentary On the Whole Bible, Volume 5, page 520