The Blind Spot
And some of the Pharisees said unto him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said unto them, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin. But now ye say, We see. Therefore your sin remaineth. John 9:40, 41
Many, perhaps most people, have a blind spot which prevents them from seeing certain persons or facts in the right perspective. They may be very intelligent and highly educated, but as soon as you mention certain individuals, at once their deep-seated prejudice comes into play, and it seems as if a veil has covered their eyes, distorting their vision.
This blind spot may be political or racial, ethical or spiritual. Most of us have, at one time or another, had some experience with this type of distorted vision.
No reasoning, no proof will avail. Nothing we can say will convince a person afflicted with this peculiar type of blindness that he is wrong or cause him to change. Only a miracle akin to conversion can effectively reach a person suffering from this kind of affliction.
This peculiar type of blindness, of which the prophets and the Lord Himself spoke, is not limited to the Pharisees or to the Jews only, but is a universal human trait. Only the Lord Himself can heal men and restore their sight. Otherwise they will grope in darkness.
Many of us have, no doubt, come across people afflicted with a blind spot where Christ is concerned. Let me tell you of a few instances—not, God forbid, in order to boost our egos, or as the Apostle Paul so aptly put it, “that you might be wise in your own conceits,” but rather that we may better understand the problem, and pray that Christ, who is the Light of the world, might open their eyes, that they may see.
Ye Shall Be Hated of All Men
Years ago when I was a university student in Warsaw, Poland, I knew a fine Jewish young man who heard the Gospel preached and openly confessed Jesus as his Messiah and Savior. At that time he worked for his father who was a tailor. The young man, whom we shall call Abraham Kohn, received no wages from his father, but a place to sleep and food at the family table. When he needed a garment the father would give it to him.
When it became known that Abraham believed in Jesus, his father was very angry and gave his son the choice of either to give up “that man” Jesus or to clear out of his house. Heavy-hearted, Abraham decided to leave his father’s house, rather than to deny Jesus.
Abraham found shelter and a job among fellow believers. One day he was summoned to appear in court accused by his own father of stealing the clothes which he was wearing. This writer was asked by Abraham to appear in court as a character witness for him. When asked by the judge I explained that Abraham was a young man of exemplary character and that the clothing he
Had earned honestly, working for his father in his shop all day long without remuneration. I explained that the only reason he was accused by his father of “stealing” was because the young man believed in Jesus and refused to change his mind.
The father was cross examined about all the circumstances and finally admitted that what his son said and I confirmed, was true. He only wanted, Mr. Kohn explained, to intimidate his boy and make him give up “this foolishness.”
The judge was greatly incensed because of the perjury which Mr. Kohn committed and was about to have him arrested for this. But then Abrahan stepped forward and pleaded with the judge not to impose any punishment upon his father. It ended with the father thanking the judge for his leniency and asking the son, with tears in his eyes, to forgive him the wrong which he had planned to do to him.
The Man Who Saw His Own Tombstone
Some time ago, in Memphis, Tenn., a greatly beloved brother, a Hebrew Christian, by the name of Morris Kulman, passed away. As a young man, Morris was drawn to Christ with invisible cords of love and he gave his heart to Him. When his family found out about this they did all in their power to make Morris forget about Jesus and live the life of “a good Jew.” When these efforts failed they took off their shoes, and sat down on low stools, which signifies mourning after a loved one. After “Shiva,” that is, the prescribed ceremony of mourning, they erected a tombstone in the Jewish cemetery, in memory of their “dead son” Morris. The inscription on the stone stated the name the day he was born, and the day he died, which actually was the day when Morris was born again. Morris would sometimes take his friends to his supposed grave and quote the words of the Apostle Paul:
Therefore, we are buried with Him in baptism unto death, that as Christ was raised up from the dead . . . even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4.
Not Peace, But a Sword
Among the many dear friends the Lord has given us, there is an excellent Christian lady, married to an outstanding Jewish man, who is an unbeliever.
Years ago they met while serving in the armed forces of our country. They fell in love and were married. They raised a lovely family of boys and girls: handsome, bright and good. The parents love each other and their children. There is, however, one thing which casts a deep shadow on their otherwise happy life. It is the person of Jesus. Although Sam is a complete unbeliever in God and even more so in the Jewish tradition, he strenuously objects to Mary’s speaking to her children about Jesus or taking them to church.
When Mary fell in love with Sam, being a Christian, she naturally hes-tated to marry an unbeliever. However she hoped, or managed to persuade herself, that in time she would win Sam over to Christ. But it did not work out that way. At first Sam seemed to be interested in the Gospel, but as his business prospered and he became prominent in the Jewish community, he drifted away more and more from all spiritual interests into a completely worldly, pleasure loving, and country club way of life. Mary, with her Christian background and convictions, could not go along with her husband and felt torn between her love for her husband and family and for her Lord.
The children also were torn between their love for their charming and generous but worldly-minded father and their wonderful, kind, patient and loving mother, who radiated the spirit of Christ. Thus there was a deep division in the family.
Sam forbade Mary to mention the name of Jesus to the children. observing the faith of their mother, and sensing the spirit of Christ some of the children gave their hearts to Him.
The other day one of the girls, Rebeccah, came home for Christmas from college, where she is actively witnessing for the Lord among her Jewish friends. She said to her mother, “I am going to tell daddy that I believe in Jesus, no matter what he does. I cannot go on living in constant fear of him.” Mary trembled, anticipating what Sam’s reaction would be. Rebeccah went up in
her father’s study and said to him, “Daddy, I love Jesus and believe in Him as my Lord and Savior.”
“So your mother has been working on you,” her father said. With this he turned away from his child who loves him deeply and froze into an icicle.
Rebeccah went back to her mother crying her heart out. For a long time Sam never mentioned Rebeccah’s name again. As far as he was concerned his daughter no longer existed.
One could understand this attitude if Sam were a believing Jew, but he isn’t. He is a highly intelligent and educated man, but where the person of Christ is concerned, all reason seems to leave him and he reacts to Him through an atavistic prejudice.
There is a mystery about all this which neither reason nor logic can explain. It goes back to the days of our Lord and to His apostles. Paul was well acquainted with this strange phenomenon; he called it a mystery which God is using to bring gentiles into the fellowship of the House of Israel, so that they also may partake in His salvation through Christ. The only remedy for this mystery of unbelief is prayer, patience and love. One day when the fulness of the gentiles shall be completed, God will reinstate Israel as the peculiar and chosen people and make them a blessing to all the nations of the world.
“Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the gentiles, how much more their fulness?” Romans 11:12.