“Without Vision The People Perish”
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:22-25)
When we receive the touch from Jesus things change. Change is imminent! Jesus criticized the Church people of His day, the Pharisees who he called blind. In fact he said that they were the “blind leading the blind.” In our self righteous religious attitudes it is difficult to admit that I can be blind to how the Lord really sees something versus how I think I see it. I have heard many a preacher preach from his pulpit the warning of “there will be false teachers in the end times.” Of course it is never he nor his bent or persuasion of Christianity. It is always “them”, the other deceived Christians in the Church. Could we, who point the finger, be the very one who is blinded or deceived?
Often as Christians we talk the talk without walking the walk. It has been a long time since I personally have seen someone who is a broken evangelist who is driven to win the lost at all cost. Most churches I know have “church hoppers” from one church to another rather than winning the lost. I have seen where a church “rejected” young unsaved youth from their youth groups because they feared they may influence their church kids rather than thinking their youth would be salt and light!
The Church founded schools, colleges, hospitals, etc. in the United States when government was small. Today, we count on government to help fund and run these “institutions” and “social services”. What use to be “ministries” have turned into “institutions”. The Church has often given up its influence. How often has the Church been blinded, losing its vision, losing its passion, losing its drive, losing its calling to win the lost, build up the body, work as different parts of the body of Christ but remember that it is part of the united Body. When the Church vision for “ministry” is blinded, it is replaced by an “institution” mentality. That is when it needs “the second touch” of Jesus on its eyes.
Now it is easy to blame “the Church”. Church bashing by the church against the church is a common practice. Jesus never blamed. He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He saw their blindness rather than their blame. Instead of the Church, we need to begin to personalize the blame, recognizing it is “I” who may be blind. Do I see the people around me only as “people”, like human trees, stick figures, or do I allow the second touch of Jesus to clear my vision and see the passion, the drive, the desire that drives “ministry”, the act of walking the walk.
What do “I” need to do to bring clarity to my “vision” for Jesus? How can I prevent “what I should be doing” into becoming something “institutionalized”? How can I be broken, broken out of the box of my institutionalized beliefs and thoughts, and allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate my spirit, my being? Will I embrace new “mindsets” on what I think about the Church, or will I keep the institutional mindsets that I have always accepted. Am I willing to say, “Lord, I see people only as trees. Touch my eyes again; clear my Vision”?