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Hiram Hutto - El Dareer Debate - October 1974

Schedule Of Services:

Sunday Morning:
Bible Study   9:00
Worship      10:00

Sunday Evening:
Worship       5:00

Wednesday Evening:
Bible Study   7:00



Jackson Drive's Address:

1110 Jackson Drive Athens, Alabama 35611



Scott Richardson



Owen Griggs

Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive


                                                                                                        February 28, 2016

Are You Blind?

Close your eyes (of course, you’ll have to open them again to finish reading, but that is the point to be made). What did you see? Not much, probably. Maybe some light spots or colors left over from visual memory. Being able to see is important—ask someone who is blind. If I live much longer, I suspect that I will be in that position. I have some eye issues already and evidently, I also have some further inherited issues to come. My dad, his brother, and their cousin are blind or well on their way. I say all of that to make clear that I think about eyesight—I know how important it is.

Most studies report that up to 90% of information entering the brain is visual (Eric Jensen, Brain-Based Learning: The New Science of Teaching & Learning). We know that when our eyes are open, our vision accounts for two-thirds of all of the electrical activity in the brain—2 billion of the 3 billion firings per second (R.S. Fixot, neuroanatomy paper published in 1957). Approximately 40% of all nerve fibers connected to the brain are linked to the retina; half of all neural tissue deals with vision in some way. More of our neurons are dedicated to vision than the other four senses combined (John Medina, Brain Rules).

Is it any wonder that so much is said in Scripture about blindness? God surely understands blindness—He made man. He had to remind Moses of that when He spoke to him at the burning bush. Moses tries to excuse himself to God by saying that he is physically incapable of following God’s instruction to go go the Egypt and confront Pharaoh. God’s reply? “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11). God wants it to be understood that He made everyone—mute, deaf, seeing, and blind. God later makes it plain, in His Law, that to treat the blind properly is to show reverence for Him: “You shall not curse a deaf man [he can’t hear], nor place a stumbling block before the blind [he can’t see], but you shall revere your God; I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:4). One of the curses during the “blessings and curses” at Mounts Gerizim and Ebal, dealt with treatment of the blind. “Cursed is he who misleads a blind person on the road” (Deuteronomy 27:18). That’s right in the list with making idols, committing incest, and neglecting God’s Law.

Compassionate though God may be toward the blind, a blind person is not whole and cannot approach God in service. “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God. For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man … No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to offer the LORD’S offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God … he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the LORD who sanctifies them” (Leviticus 21:16-24). Even the animal sacrifices themselves were to be free from blindness. However, by the days of Malachi, God’s requirements had placed behind the desires of men. “‘But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 1:8). Many of the priests, by selectively applying God’s Law, were inflicting blindness upon themselves and were casting stumbling blocks before others. “‘But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 2:1-8). It is no surprise, then, that Jesus uses strong language to speak of Pharisees in His day. “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” (Matthew 15:14). “Woe to you, blind guides … You fools and blind men! … You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering … You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:16,17,19,24).

It was just as the voice of the Lord spoke to Isaiah. “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10). They could not see; they had left the light of God’s word: “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

What is to be done about blindness? A blind beggar on the road to Jericho can help us see. “Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road … And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.’ … And answering him, Jesus said, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ And the blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!’” (Mark 10:46-51). The Jewish people could turn again to God. They could return to the light of His word. They could come to the Light of the world—“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” (John 8:12). How much power filled the air when Jesus read to the people from Isaiah! “And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.’ And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:17-21).

The nations of the world weren’t left out of this release from darkness. They, too, could have sight that comes from the Light. “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:6). Paul recognized that “seeing” for all comes by the proclamation, acceptance, and obedience of Jesus the Christ. In his defense before Agrippa he said, “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22-23).

Let us not be like those who are perishing “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2Corinthians 4:4). Let us not as those from Laodicea who would be spit out of the Lord’s mouth because they say, “‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” but heed the Lord’s words as He advises “buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:17-19). Let us not be found short of sight, but continually grow in the way in which “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2Peter 1:5-11).

—S. Scott Richardson Sr.

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