“Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!” (Matthew 23:16)
The 23rd chapter of Matthew contains some harsh denunciations as Jesus delivers the eight “woes.” Even the Greek word is a bit eerie; it is pronounced “oo-ah-ee!” Can you imagine this series of stern admonitions delivered to the faces of these self-righteous manipulators of truth? “Oo-ah-ee you scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, hypocrites!” It must have given chills to everyone there.
The blindness that Jesus was condemning has both a practical and spiritual impact. Obviously, if one does not understand simple truth, the result is going to be either embarrassing or painful. “They be blind leaders of the blind,” Jesus said. “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
The great Creator of the universe knows best how to guide His creation. If we, the stewards (Genesis 1:28), do not know or understand the Creator’s instructions, we are bound to get into trouble. That “truth blindness” often results in “blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24).
But the greater blindness is spiritual. Peter listed attributes on how to grow in faith and gain assurance. Then he advised, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:9).
In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus warned Laodicea, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). His counsel: “Buy of me gold . . . and white raiment . . . and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:18). HMM III