Luke 6:39, 40
And he spoke a parable to them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
We may learn from this parable some truths of the greatest consequence to all those who are teachers of religion; and this will include not only all Christian pastors and evangelists, but all those who are training the young, whether at school or at home.
I. THAT THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD DEPENDS VERY LARGELY ON THAT OF ITS RELIGIOUS TEACHERS. The multitude have never yet been able to think great theological questions through; they have not attempted the settlement of them by their own examination. They have left that very largely indeed to their religious leaders. It is so in other departments of human knowledge, and so it has been and will be in the realm of 'religion. What our teachers teach the people will believe concerning the great and supreme questions affecting our relation to God, to our neighbours, to the future.
II. THAT BLINDNESS ON THE PART OF THE TEACHER MEANS DISASTROUS ERROR TO THE PEOPLE. "Both will fall into the ditch." Religious truth is the most elevating of all knowledge; but error in religion is the most injurious of all errors. Men can make mistakes in the realms of literature, of physical science, of philosophy, and even of political economy, without fatal consequences. But serious errors in religion are nothing short of calamities. Teacher and taught fall into a deep ditch, from which they do not escape without much injury, both done and suffered. These evil consequences include:
1. Departure and distance of the mind from the thought of God, from truth and wisdom.
2. Superstitions which degrade and demoralize; or, on the other hand, unbelief which robs the soul of its true heritage, and leaves life without nobility and death without hope.
3. Morbid fancies which prey upon the mind, or shocking cruelties practised on the victim of error himself or on others.
4. Spiritual death.
III. THAT THE TEACHER OF TRUTH IS LIMITED IN HIS INFLUENCE BY HIS OWN ATTAINMENTS. "The disciple is not above his master." It is indeed true that a teacher may bring a disciple into connection with Jesus Christ; and from him and from his followers and his institutions he may gain help which his first teacher could not have imparted; but this is not derived from the teacher himself. This man, as teacher, can only render to his disciples the good which he has in himself - the knowledge he has in his own mind, the worth he has in his own character, the wisdom contained in the principles on which he is fashioning his own life. Let every teacher be impressed with the serious truth of this limitation. He cannot give what he has not gained. He has to say, "Follow me so far as I am following Christ," - not a step further. If he ceases to acquire, if his path of progress in the knowledge or the likeness of God is arrested, there is stopped at the same hour his power of leading his disciples on and up those sacred and glorious heights. Therefore let him be always acquiring, always attaining.
IV. THAT THE FAITHFUL TEACHER HAS A VERY NOBLE OPPORTUNITY. Every one that has been fully instructed "shall be as his master." If he is a" true philanthropist who makes two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before," what shall we not think of him who plants in the hearts of men true thoughts of God, of the human soul, of human life, of the future? This is the teacher's lofty function. And he can go beyond this. By the power of language, especially when that is illuminated by deep conviction and intense earnestness of spirit, he can pass on to his disciples so much of Divine truth, and he can communicate so much of heavenly wisdom, that they who "have been fully instructed," who are his mature or "perfect" disciples, will have in them the mind and temper which are in him. So that they will be "as he is," will think as he thinks, will feel what he feels, will live for the same objects for which he is living. Surely there is no nobler work that any man can do than this; it is well worth while the teacher's
(1) most careful preparation,
(2) most energetic effort,
(3) most earnest prayer. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?