Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Blind Leading the Blind

In Matthew 15 Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites for promoting their traditions above God’s Word. The disciples reported to Him that He had offended the Pharisees. Jesus said, “Let them alone. They are blind guides of the blind, and if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (15:14).

Leave them alone? Didn’t He care about their destiny? For the longest time I couldn’t understand why Jesus said to ignore them. Sure, the Pharisees were set in their ways and wouldn’t change, but didn’t Jesus care about all those lost people who were following them? His statement makes it clear that the followers are just as accountable for their actions as the leaders. Even though they saw Jesus perform miracles, the people who followed the Pharisees chose to follow the false leaders.

Multitudes of people in Germany during WWII enthusiastically followed a demon-possessed dictator. Not one of them can say on the Judgment Day, “Lord, how can you blame me for following a dynamic leader? He was so magnetic and produced so many great military leaders. No one dared to question his leadership. I didn’t know that he was wrong.” Many pastors today are emphasizing leadership in church to the point it has become an idol. (If “leadership” were that important, Jesus would have taught us how to be great leaders instead of teaching us how to be servants and slaves of others!)

What can we learn from this? Be extremely careful about the spiritual leader that you choose to follow. Is that person feeding you spiritually or are you starving to death? Some people will follow a pastor who isn’t feeding them spiritually simply because they have been a member of that church for a long time. Is it your goal to become like that leader? Jesus said, “Everyone, after he is fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). Life is too short to blindly follow a blind leader. If you aren’t growing closer to Jesus through that person’s ministry, take off your blindfold and find another church.

Some church members will blindly follow a rebellious deacon to overthrow a godly pastor. (See Korah's rebellion in Numbers 16:1-3, 31-33). I know of an associate pastor who orchestrated a rebellion against his senior pastor and split the church. The associate pastor led a group of his friends out of the church to start a new church in that town, appointing himself as their pastor. God will not only hold the associate pastor accountable for his rebellion but also the members who chose to blindly follow him.

What about you? Are you blindly following a blind leader? Have the courage to change course if necessary, and follow someone who is living a godly life and teaching the truth of God’s Word.

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