This is the truth: When we follow someone, we wind up in the same place they do. If a CEO leads their company down the wrong path, all the shareholders find themselves impoverished. If a religious leader goes astray and gets shipwrecked, those who follow also find themselves shipwrecked. The only way to avoid such disaster is not to follow those who are in error, and the best way to do that is to avoid those who do not hold to God’s truth.
Jesus has taught the crowds the truth of God’s Word and the truth of His Kingdom. Some among the crowds believed Him, and some did not. The religious leadership of the day – the Pharisees and teachers of the law – championed the cause of those who did not believe. As the religious leadership of the day and lifelong students of the Scripture, they believed they were right and this upstart rabbi called Jesus was wrong.
Jesus has some sound advice for those who might be reluctant to leave such error, “Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Jesus is not saying that religious leadership does not deserve to hear the Good News of the kingdom of God. He knows they have heard it – they even heard it straight from His own lips. But in rejecting the truth, they forfeit the privilege of leading those who do hear it. Jesus is making it very clear – a Christ-follower should not follow those who deny the truth of God. Such people will only lead others to disaster.
In our day we constantly hear of ‘Christian’ leaders who are in disagreement with the revealed truth of the Bible. Some believe they have an enlightened approach. They call themselves ‘progressive Christians’ who no longer believe that the Biblical teaching on sexual purity is applicable in modern times. Some constantly preach that God’s favor is demonstrated by wealth. They teach that the Gospel is meant to enrich us with financial resources and that God’s favor is demonstrated by financial ‘success’. And, as in Christ’s day, some exalt human tradition to be equal with Scripture. Their theology and philosophy of ministry include extra-Biblical mandates based on tradition such as purgatory, praying to non-divinity and salvation by works. But none of that is truth, because none of that is revealed in God’s Word. Christ would have us know that such people are blind to the truth. They may not be physically blind, but they have chosen to be spiritually blind by the deliberate overlooking of God’s revealed truth.
We must leave such people to themselves. They are headed to shipwreck, and they will destroy the fruitfulness of all who follow them.
Spiritual sight is actually fairly easy to gain and keep. Read the Scripture, study the Scripture and apply the Scripture. If you read it you will be immune to those who preach what it does not say. If you study it you will be immune to those who take it out of context. If you apply it, you will know and be able to follow God’s leading in every matter of life. In this way you can keep your life free from spiritual error.
It is only because he became like us that we can become like him.Dietrich Bonhoeffer
To follow God, we must set our eyes and hearts on Him. To do so is to worship Him.