So, one of neighbors called a couple days ago and said there was a Great Dane dog wandering around in his yard. Figuring it belonged to another of our neighbors, he led the dog down our driveway and I met him to help him take the dog home. But I noticed as they approached that this Great Dane was all white except for a couple black spots on the hind end. One of our neighbor’s Great Danes is black and the other is black and white. This was definitely not one of them. It had albino features with pink eyes and pink nose and very white coat. Oh, and also, the dog was both blind and deaf. She had been bumping into the sides buildings when our neighbor found her. Since the rescuing neighbor has four dogs of his own, he couldn’t really keep it while we looked for the owner, so I offered to put it in our back yard. I stayed with her while Kathy began making some phone calls and the neighbor also made some calls and started canvassing the neighborhood looking for the owner.
Meanwhile, we had quite an interesting time. I felt really badly for the dog, that appeared to have been well-cared for, and since she was not in familiar surroundings she really wanted me to stay by her side. She was a very sweet dog and very playful. It was pretty chilly outside, and it looked as if the Great Dane was an inside dog so I tried taking her inside—what a mistake that was! She began checking out the house, but, not being able to see, was running into lamps, end tables, etc. So, I took her back outside while Kathy continued making calls. We were beginning to wonder what in the world we would do if we had to keep the dog overnight.
Well, praise the Lord, after a few more minutes of “dog-sitting”’ in the back yard, I heard Kathy say that the owner was on the way. We were all very grateful and relieved, the dog included who obviously could smell the presence of her owner when she arrived. The gate in their back yard (just a few blocks away) had been left open by mistake. It is very fortunate that the dog wandered into our neighbor’s yard rather than out onto the highway where she—being blind and deaf—would have been very vulnerable.
As I observed the plight of the blind, deaf Great Dane, I couldn’t help but think of a statement Jesus made about the hypocritical Pharisees. He said: “They are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Mt. 15:14). Again in Mt. 23:24-26, Jesus said: “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”
The Pharisees themselves were spiritually blind. They didn’t realize that their adherence to the Law plus all the traditions they had added, had not gained them a right standing with God. They were attempting to establish their own righteousness through the Law, but as the Apostle Paul later wrote, “…by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Ro. 3:20). The Law just exposed sin, it made no provision to atone for it. That’s why Jesus came. Paul, writing to the churches in Galatia, said, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified……for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly” (Gal. 2:26,21b). Elsewhere, Paul wrote that “…the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God” (II Cor. 4:4).
The Pharisees were spiritually blind, “stumbling around” and constantly bumping into things (worried about all sorts of nit-picking details which were of no real consequence because of their false conception of how to become righteous), yet they were trying to be the spiritual guides of others. Jesus could see through their phoniness and firmly pointed it out to them. There is probably no more dangerous place to be spiritually than to think you are okay when you are in reality lost and will suffer eternal judgment if you stay in that state. And then the tragedy is compounded when these spiritually blind folks attempt to guide others. Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven (believing in Jesus….Jn. 6:40). Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ ” (Mt. 7:21-23).
Just as it was sad to see this blind, deaf Great Dane wandering aimlessly, so it is very sad to observe folks who are spiritually blind, wandering aimlessly, bumping into things. And then it is even more difficult to watch as some of them are actually in positions of leadership guiding others down their same path. I pray that God will open the eyes of their hearts to see the truth of who Jesus is and to give them a desire to know Him and experience the new birth and gain their spiritual sight. Paul, whose background was Saul of Tarsus, the proud Pharisee, when he encountered the risen Christ and had his spiritual eyes opened had a burden for his fellow Jews who were still living in blindness and wrote: “Brethren, my heart’s desire for them is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Ro. 10:1-4).
Upon what are you basing your hope of eternal life?