Matthew 15:14
Disregard them! They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
Sermons
Blind GuidesBishop Ryle.Matthew 15:14
Blind Leaders of the BlindW.F. Adeney Matthew 15:14
Mutual RuinM. Henry.Matthew 15:14
Casuistry ReprovedJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 15:1-20
On Hand WashingMarcus Dods Matthew 15:1-20
The Secret of Human DefilementR. Tuck Matthew 15:11, 19, 20


This is a startling image, vividly suggesting to our minds a most deplorable condition of society. While it was especially true of the official teachers of Israel in our Lord's time, it has never ceased to have an application to somewhat similar men. It may be applied to heathen priests, to the benighted leaders of superstition in mediaeval Europe, and, alas! to many in Christendom today who essay to guide others though they themselves cannot see the way of life.

I. THE BLIND LOOK FOR LEADERS. The consciousness of inability and the confession of it may not be recognized by superficial observers, because a certain surface pride tries to veil the deep diffidence and the yearning hunger for guidance that really inhabit the souls of men. The blindness of the multitudes that "knew not the Law" was but a shadow of the blindness of mankind generally. Ignorant of God, unable to comprehend itself, lost in the wilderness of thought, the mind of man seems to be eyeless, or at best dim-sighted and confused in its attempt to grasp spiritual truth.

II. THE BLIND MAY BE DECEIVED IN THEIR LEADERS. Their very blindness puts them under a disadvantage in judging of the worth of those who offer to guide them. Sounding words are no proofs of clear vision. Yet too often teachers have been accepted on their own terms and accredited by their self-assertions. Nevertheless, when one who sees arrives, it is possible for him and others to detect a mistake. The common people who heard Jesus gladly quickly perceived that his teaching had an authority which that of the scribes lacked.

III. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LEADERS OF THE BLIND IS MOST SERIOUS. They are trusted men, and in proportion to their acceptance of confidence will be their responsibility. If they fail to carry out their promises their charges will suffer. But they too will fall into trouble. Men cannot guide others wrongly without going wrong themselves. Their fatal mistake is to pretend to be leaders of souls while they themselves are benighted, for it is possible to refuse the responsible function and to take the lower and humbler place of the blind who need guidance.

IV. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT THAT RELIGIOUS TEACHERS SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH THEY ARE CALLED UPON TO TEACH. This idea is so obvious that it seems to be a waste of words to state it. Yet it is constantly ignored.

1. Special training is needed. In the present day the air is laden with questions concerning the foundations of the faith, and no one is fit to be a teacher of others who is not prepared to meet those questions. Though some of them may not be readily answered, at least the teacher must know how to give some guidance to the inquirer in his perplexity.

2. Divine light is needed. It is not enough for the teacher to have been trained in theological studies. These may have left him in a midnight darkness; and they will do so if he has not opened his soul to the light of God.

V. THE ONLY SAFE GUIDE IS JESUS CHRIST. He has clear vision, and he leads surely through all difficulties. We lean on the teaching of ignorant men when we might go straight to the teaching of Christ. With the Light of the world shining upon our path, we should be able to see, and yet this will not be possible if we are blind. Now, it is the great work of Christ not merely to guide the blind, but to give them sight, so that they may see their way and follow him by their own vision of truth. - W.F.A.







They be blind leaders of the blind.
The bankrupt who asks a bankrupt to set him up in business again, is only losing time. The pauper who travels off to a neighbouring pauper, and begs him to help him out of difficulties, is only troubling himself in vain. The prisoner does not beg his fellow-prisoner to set him free. The shipwrecked sailor does not call on his shipwrecked comrade to place him safe ashore. Help in all these cases must come from some other quarter. Relief in all these cases must be sought from some other hand. It is just the same in the matter of cleansing away your sins. So long as you seek it from man, you seek it where it cannot be found.

(Bishop Ryle.)

The falling of both together will aggravate the fall of each; for they that have thus increased each other's mutual sin will mutually exasperate each other's ruin.

(M. Henry.)

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