Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
There’s no such thing as an unseeing eye dog. It would be foolish to trust a blind man as a mountain guide on a narrow, treacherous trail. A blind man would not ask another blind man to help him cross a busy intersection. And though blind people can live independently and accomplish many things, there are just some things that sight is necessary for. We would not want to be on the road with a blind person driving a car, and a blind pilot would have a hard time finding passengers for his plane.
To walk the path of righteousness that Jesus was preaching, a blind guide was useless, for along this path, there are many pitfalls and stumblingblocks along the way. It is not a path without obstacles and danger. Clear, sharp vision is needed to discern the proper step, to guide those who would follow and keep them from going the wrong way.
The Pharisees are condemned by Jesus for their short-sighted vision. Though they were supposed to be religious leaders, they were misleading people, burdening them with extra rules. They were so concerned with their appearance, earning the praise of men and looking like they were righteous people that they didn’t see the true state of their own hearts. They focused on the little things they could see in front of them, like Jesus healing on the Sabbath, and missed the bigger picture of the miracles being done before their eyes. They nitpicked at the disciples’ unwashed hands but didn’t see their own dirty souls. They tried to keep the letter of the law without seeing the spirit behind the law.
Jesus’ way is a close, intimate, sanctifying walk with God, not a cold observance of rules. Jesus was a walking light on the path to true joy and peace in pleasing God through obedience, not a blind, groping, staggering man trying to stumble into favor with God for things he has done himself. Jesus did not come to leave us with a rule book so we could hope to get it right. He came to give us Himself so we could know for sure we were on the right path.
As we follow Jesus each day, let’s strive to walk with clear vision, focusing on our Savior. He is the perfect one to guide us through the path of life. His Word gives us warnings of what will happen if we veer off the path. The Holy Spirit warns of dangers along the way. And if we do fall, our Jesus is there to help us back to our feet and continue on the right way.