CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE EXPRESSION, “THEY BE BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
“Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he [the Lord Jesus Christ] answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:12-14). Do the blind still lead the blind? (Yes, they do!)
We have an English expression derived from the above passage. Physical blindness is not under discussion. It is spiritual blindness. Those in the position of leading others to God have no idea how to reach God themselves. While they may hold a religious title, they are just as clueless about spiritual truths as skeptics!
Long ago, there was an evangelist who had “preached the Gospel” for over two decades in his particular denomination. Now facing death, he paced the floor, worrying aloud, “Am I going to Heaven when I die?” (Where did all this man’s followers go upon death? In all those years, had he ever preached to them a pure Gospel of Grace? That is quite scary! If he was worried about eternity, what peace had he offered them?!) Stop and think, dear friends, of how damaging denominationalism truly is. It does not matter what group or sect. People are so confused about even such basic Bible facts as a clear Gospel message. Yet, they would not hesitate to announce, “I am a Christian, and I know Jesus!”
The Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24) is found mostly succinctly in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” We do not have to wonder if we will make it to Heaven. If we rely on or trust the simple truth that Jesus Christ at Calvary paid our sin debt in full, that makes us fit for Heaven. We are showing God we as sinners cannot please Him. We are admitting that He had to do for us what we simply cannot do for ourselves. Alas, leave it to sinful man to complicate it!
Without question, the Lord Jesus did not hesitate to tell the truth about the religious leaders of His nation. These educated men had been entrusted with the Old Testament Scriptures, but they were evil. They hid God’s Word from the common people. Frankly, despite their godly appearance, they were enemies of the truth. They claimed to be serving the God of Abraham but were anything but!
Jesus, in Matthew 15:12-14, said Father God would judge those wicked priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and so on. According to Jeremiah chapter 23 and Ezekiel chapter 34, corrupt religious leaders had been a pervasive problem in Israel for centuries. Unfortunately, a similar condition has largely crippled the Body of Christ for nearly 2,000 years. Today, most Bible colleges, seminaries, and denominations train shallow Bible users and perverted Gospel preachers. These graduates matriculated through courses and classes, took and passed examinations, received certifications, and underwent ordinations. Philosophies learned, committees satisfied, and denominations approved. But, does God endorse them? Are they even members of the Church the Body of Christ? Or, just members of manmade denominations? Is the Spirit of God leading them? Or, is it simply the spirit of man? Did they learn the Bible? Or just suppositions, speculations, and hypotheses about Scripture?
Consider the leading “scholars” in Christendom today. They are experts in church history, fluent in Greek and Hebrew and Latin, longtime seminary professors, popular counselors, best-selling authors, members of denominational churches, and hosts to large television and radio audiences. However, how many have actually trusted Jesus Christ exclusively as their personal Saviour? Are they nothing but Christians in name only? Since much of the processing church is clueless about the Scriptures, they exalt non-Christians as Christians and pagan teaching as Christian. Indeed, “they be blind leaders of the blind.”
Notice Israel’s religious leaders. They misquoted Micah 5:2 in Matthew 2:6, and were willfully ignorant of other Old Testament passages and truths (Matthew 12:3-5; Matthew 19:4; Matthew 22:31; Mark 12:10,26; Luke 6:3; John 7:52). Even after witnessing numerous miracles, they asked Jesus to perform more (Matthew 12:38; Matthew 16:4). They were content in their unbelief! The Lord exposed the fact that they had set aside God’s Word so as to keep their church traditions (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13).
They pretended not to know the truth, so as to conceal their unbelief (Matthew 21:24-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8). On three occasions, to no avail, they attempted to trick Jesus (Matthew 22:15-46; Mark 12:13-34; Luke 20:40). They actually looked for false witnesses to accuse Christ to condemn Him to death (Matthew 26:59-62)! Read His scathing rebukes of them as found in Matthew chapter 23, Luke chapter 11, and John chapter 8. They even lied to cover up His resurrection (Matthew 28:11-15).
Even today, those in “church leadership” are often unfit to lead God’s people. This author can honestly tell you that most of the so-called “Christian clergy” he has encountered these past 10-plus years could not identify Christian teaching. In fact, some have taken scoffer’s (!) positions at times—the preacher who did not take the Bible literally, the priest who outright laughed at Scripture, and so on. This author recalls the “Christian” lady who refused to hear him read the Bible to her. Never will he forget the church members who had attended denominational services for decades and were still biblically illiterate. Long ago, this author too was an ignorant Christian leader—one of the many blind leading the many blind. However, when he learned about dispensational Bible study, he left his denomination and never returned to it! Indeed, the blind do not have to stay blind.
In Matthew 15:12-14, the Lord said, “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” What exactly is this “ditch?” That deep hole into which Israel will fall had already been predicted in Proverbs chapter 23: “ My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.  For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.  She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.” There is something more than physical prostitution here.
Notice the spiritual whoredom in Revelation chapter 17: “ And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
Since Israel’s religious leaders had taken her away from God’s truth, the nation would fall for the Antichrist’s false religious system (still future). Likewise, Christendom’s leaders have lured billions of church members into Satan’s trap. Greek, Hebrew, and Latin literacy are no substitute for the indwelling Holy Spirit! Familiarity with theology, church history, and denominational tenets are no replacement for sound Bible doctrine! Yet, the Holy Spirit and sound Bible doctrine are usually ignored when evaluating and choosing local church leaders. Followers of such ministries “carry on the tradition” by using those faulty criteria to assess life!
Read the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians. These saints exalted “scholarship,” believing that philosophy was key to learning God’s wisdom. First Corinthians chapter 2: “ For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Sadly, the professing church today has yet to learn these truths. Most preachers and teachers are filled with the world’s wisdom. Very few are filled with the Holy Spirit, thinking as He would have them think. They do not approach the Bible dispensationally. They do not use the right Bible text (the manuscript family of the King James Bible). We can meet the people resulting from those ministries. They are copies of the confused souls who taught them. All this perplexity leads to atheism, agnosticism, and more denominations. Indeed, the blind are leading the blind! (And God is not to blame!)