Tag Archives: light

Spiritual blindness: Part 2

Saul’s conversion is another biblical incident where physical blindness is attributed to spiritual blindness: As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” He asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. “But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”

The men who were travelling with Saul had stopped, not saying a word; they heard the voice but couldn’t see anyone. Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but could not see a thing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. For three days he was not able to see, and during that time he could not eat or drink anything.

There was a Christian in Damascus called Ananias. He had a vision, in which the Lord said to him to go place his hands on Saul so that he might see again. So Ananias went, entered the house where Saul was and placed his hands on him. “Brother Saul,” he said. The Lord has sent me-Jesus himself who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

At once something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again. He stood up and was baptized; and after he had eaten his strength came back. After his conversion he went on to spread the word of God. In the company of Barnabas, he went to the island of Cyprus, having been sent by the Holy Spirit.

They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Ber-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith.

Then Saul-also known as Paul-was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician and said, “You son of the devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord’s truths into lies! The Lord’s hand will come down on you and you will be blind and you will not see the light of day for a time.

At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord. (Acts 13: 4-12).

In both incidences, Saul and Elymas lost their physical sight because they were spiritually blind. In the bible we are told of people who lost their sight because they did not believe in God so the only cure was to believe in Him; like Saul did. In life however, blindness is a condition attributed to other causes and not necessarily sin.

It is so with us. We may be able to see with our eyes, but when it comes to matters faith we fail to see what God intends for us to see. Only He can restore our spiritual sight. That, we can achieve by seeking His help and trying to do what He expects of us, and by learning to see Him in every little incident; in the things that bring us joy, even sadness. To believe that everything that happens to us happens because He allows it, for a greater purpose; a reason our finite minds may not be able to comprehend.

spiritual blindness

In everything we do we should involve God in our plans. That means we shouldn’t cling on to our plans; we should leave room for Him to surprise us, because sometimes the plans we make are different from what He has in store for us. By entrusting our lives to Him, we do away with things that lead us into darkness, e.g. anxiety and disappointment which comes from failure to achieve set goals.

Seek the Lord

Spiritual blindness: Part 1

Jesus light of the world

Blindness is fundamentally described as the inability to see. That could go two ways: the inability to see with our physical eyes or the inability to see through our eyes of faith. In relation to the latter-spiritual blindness-a majority of us live in darkness, and some of us don’t even realize it. It could be anger that keeps us in darkness; refusing to see past it and making decisions when angry, which in most cases turn out to be wrong. It could be jealousy or lust…the list is endless. Every person knows specifically what keeps them away from the light.

Many are afflicted by spiritual blindness, and there is only one cure for it; to trust in God. In John 9: 1-41, we’re told the story of a man born blind who was healed by Jesus: He and His disciples were walking when they saw the man. His disciples asked, “Teacher, whose sin caused him to be born blind? Was it his own or his parents’ sin?”

Jesus answered, “His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sin. He is blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him. As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent us. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After He said this Jesus spat on the ground and made some mud with the spittle. He rubbed the mud on the man’s eyes and told him to go wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam (which means sent). So the man went and washed his face and came back seeing.

His neighbours couldn’t believe him when he told them Jesus had healed him; they took him to the Pharisees, who also started questioning him on the same. When Jesus heard what had happened, He found the man and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man answered, “Tell me who He is so that I can believe in Him.”

Jesus said to him, “You have already seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you now.”

“I believe, Lord!” The man said, and knelt down before Jesus.

Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were there with Him heard Him say this and asked Him, “Surely, You don’t mean that we are blind too?”

Jesus answered, “If you were blind you wouldn’t be guilty. But since you claim you can see, this means that you are still guilty.”

This is an abridged version of the chapter as the original version is quite long. Basically, we see Jesus restoring the man’s physical and spiritual sight. The Pharisees could see with their physical eyes, but were spiritually blind because they did not believe Jesus was the Son of God.

Believing in God heals us off our spiritual blindness because with the belief comes the strength to live in accordance with God’s Holy will. Spiritual blindness refers to sin. And in the bible, even physical blindness was associated with sin; that’s why the disciples were quick to ask Jesus who was responsible for the man’s blindness; if it was his own sins or his parents’.

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will have the light of life.”

 

The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

wise men

This past Sunday was the last day of Christmas; that of course is according to the church calendar, when we celebrated the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany is a word connected with light. And as seen in Isaiah 60: 1-6, Jesus is the light of the world:

Arise, Jerusalem, and shine like the sun;

The glory of the Lord is shining on you!

Other nations will be covered by darkness,

But on you the light of the Lord will shine;

The brightness of His presence will be with you.

Nations will be drawn to your light, and kings to the dawning of your new day.

The word Epiphany refers to a revelation, or a manifestation of something. In this case, Jesus was revealed to the world as the light of the world. It’s based on the events narrated in Matthew 2:1-12. This feast was traditionally celebrated on 6th January, but on occasions where the day falls on a working day, the church has moved the celebration to the Sunday before or after 6th.

Some men who studied the stars, commonly referred to as Wise men, had travelled far from Persia, Asia and Africa to see the new born king. The bible doesn’t really specify they were three. King Herod, who had heard of their arrival called them to a secret meeting and instructed them, “Go and make a careful search for the child and when you find him, let me know so that I too may go and worship him.”

They left and followed the star, which went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They went into the house and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him. They presented him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which have been interpreted by Christians to symbolize the state of Jesus as a King, Priest and Human (that He would die but not waste away, hence becoming the risen Christ). It’s from their gesture that the Christmas tradition of giving gifts originated.

After seeing the child, they left via a different route as God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. The bible shouldn’t be read as a history book; it’s full of signs: the wise men were led to Jesus by a star that shone from the East, but in real sense He was the actual star and the wise men, we’re told, didn’t go back the same way they had come. This could be interpreted as: when one meets Jesus they never go back the same way they had come; He gives a new beginning.

In my house we haven’t taken down the Christmas decorations yet, but it’s safe to say Christmas is officially over. I feel I have an inexplicable love for Christmas. Sometimes I feel if Christmas were a person I would marry him, just so I could wake up to him everyday; so it would be Christmas everyday. The good thing though, is that we recently celebrated the nativity of our Lord, and it doesn’t have to end there just because party’s over and life’s back to normal. We can choose to live the lives we had before Christ’s birth or, like the wise men, we can take a different route and become changed people.

I wish you all a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS 2014.