Spiritual Blindness

“As Jesus passed he saw a man which was blind from his birth.” John 9:1

The blind man illustrates everyone’s natural condition. For one thing, he had never been able to see. So men are born in a state of sin. Whatever we may say about the sweetness, innocence, and purity of childhood, the Scriptures plainly teach that no one is born by natural birth in the kingdom of heaven, but that all must be born again to enter it.

Another point of analogy is, that this man’s blindness shut off from him a whole world of beauty. There were lovely things all around him — green fields, sweet flowers, blue skies, bright sunshine, shining stars; but he never saw any of these things. So there is a whole world of spiritual beauty lying about the unregenerate and above him — the love of God, Divine promises, blessed hopes, the heavenly kingdom, all the joys of salvation; but he sees nothing of all this glorious world.

It is said that a lady looking at one of Turner’s¹ pictures, delineating some scene of nature, said to the artist, “Mr. Turner, I cannot see in nature what you put in your pictures.” The artist’s quiet answer was, “Don‘t you wish you could, madam?” Men of the world observe the raptures of Christian faith and Christian hope, and read the joyous words of Christian experience, and say with a sneer, “We cannot see any such joys as these in religion.” The only proper answer is, “Don‘t you wish you could?” It takes the artist’s eye to see the glory of nature; it takes the opened eye of Christian faith to see the glories of God’s spiritual kingdom.

For another thing, this blind man’s condition was incurable. In this, too, his case illustrated the condition of every sinner. The sinner is incurable, and none but Christ can remove his spiritual blindness. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”