Who is blind but My servant, or deaf like the messenger I am sending? Who is blind like My covenant partner, or blind like the servant of the LORD?
they turn back to their old paths?
I. THE BLINDNESS OF INDIFFERENCE. The heart has lost its first love, and the King is not "beautiful" now. Like human love sometimes, which does not know how blessed it is in its estate of home, until it is aroused by accident, danger, or death to a sense of the value of the heart it has slighted. So at times even the Christian becomes indifferent. "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."
II. THE BLINDNESS OF INATTENTION. (Ver. 20.) "Seeing many things, but thou observest not."
1. Christians do not always see the value of their principles,
2. Nor do they mark the privileges and comforts which are the outcome of faith.
3. Nor do they observe the misery of the men of this world.
4. Nor do they see the slave's fetters beneath the false liberty of the sinner. Others are blind by nature and habit. But who so blind as the Lord's servants? - W.M.S.
Who is blind, but My Servant?I. CHRIST'S BLINDNESS. How should it be said of the Servant and Messenger of the Lord that He was blind as none other? How should it be said of Him whose eyes are as a flame of fire, whose look struck like a sword? Are not all things naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do? Yes.
1. But as to the older expositors have pointed out, He was m a sense blind. They dwelt on the fact that His was the blindness that has no sense of difficulties. It is told of an officer attacking an almost impregnable fort that he was in great peril, and, was recalled by his chief. To disobey the recall was death if only he saw it. He was blind in one eye, and when told of the recall he turned the blind eye on the signal, and asked that the battle should continue. This is the blindness of Christ and His faithful. "Who art thou, O great mountain?" Christ indeed lifted His eyes to the hills, but not to these lower hills that block the way and close us in. He lifted His eyes to the everlasting mountains towering far above them, on whose summit the final feast of triumph is to be spread. Beyond the obstacles and thwartings that marked His earthly course He had a vision of the patience of God. He was blind to difficulty, even as His apostle was. None of these things moved Him. A king about to engage an army five times as large as his own, prayed to God that He would take away from him the sense of numbers. The sense of numbers, in the earthly manner, Christ never possessed. On that side He was blind.
2. But I speak specially of His blindness to much in life that we consider it legitimate to see. He was blind to the allurement of our ordinary ambitions. The desire for money never seemed to touch Him. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth," said He, and He kept His own precept. There is something suggestive in His request, "Show Me a penny." Evidently He did not possess one, and when He died He left nothing behind Him but the garment for which they threw dice beneath the tree. Nor had He anything of the modern feeling, which is not all a sham, that those who can open new channels of commerce and industry, who can promote the peaceable intercourse of the world, are serving humanity. He was blind also, so far as we can tell, to that region which is the scene of the chief triumphs and apostasies of the heart — the rich and volcanic and often wasted region of passion. I think that Dora Greenwell's remark is true, that the passion of love which forms the staple of imaginative literature is absolutely unknown to the New Testament. Then, let us think of the immense encroachment on human thought and interest that the subject of recreation has made. There is a legitimate place for recreation, but it did not enter into the Lord's thought. His one way of resting was to go into a desert place, or to ascend a mountain and pray. Once more, the sphere of art and culture He seems to have left alone. He, the poet of the universe, was not interested in poetry. He glanced at the Divine glory of the lily, and said that it surpassed even the glory of Solomom But of the treasures and marvels of human art and imagination had nothing to say, and apparently nothing to think.
II. CHRIST'S DEAFNESS. But who said, "The Lord God hath opened Mine ears, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back I gave My back to the smiters," and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair"? It was He who heard so well the lightest whisper of God. "I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy law is within My heart." What response ever came so quickly as our Lord's, "Lo, I come"? To be obedient means to listen, and He was a listener unto death. But how deaf He was sometimes; how deaf when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness; how deaf to His friends when they sought to alter His course; how deaf to Peter when he said, "This shall not be unto Thee"; how deaf when they tried to make Him a King by force; how deaf in the judgment-hall when they asked Him, "Whence art Thou? Hearest Thou not how many things they witness against Thee? "The incarnate Lord stood with locked lips before Pilate, and answered only with a boding, fateful silence to questions such as these. And how supremely deaf when they called to Him, "If Thou be the Son of God, come down from. the Cross." But in the .same. way He was deaf,, not only to. counsels of evil, but to much that seemed legitimate. Here, also, it appears as if many pleasant voices that spoke to Him might have been heeded without sin, and to His happiness. His life might have been richer, easier, more solaced, but He made sharp choices and stern renunciations and swift decisions, and so the fulness of life was not for Him, and the allurement and appeal were vain. Remember, He was never deaf and never blind when a soul sought Him.
(W. Robertson Nicoll, LL. D)
(J. Parker, D. D.)
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