4-3-3 Out of Darkness
But the problem is that although we have been called out of darkness / blindness into the light of life, we are still blind in so many ways- even though blindness is a feature of the unsaved, and ignorance of God is the basis of His anger with men (2 Thess. 1:8). Crystal clear teaching of Jesus relating to wealth, brotherly love, personal forgiveness, the vital unity of His church, personal purity… these all go ignored in some way by each of us, and therefore by us as a community. The Lord gently warns us that we are all likely to be blind in some way- why, He asks, are we so keen to comment on our brother's blindness / darkness, when we too have such limited vision (Mt. 7:3)? We can read the same passages time and again, and fail to let them really register. For quite some time I have been reading Mt. 5:23,24, twice a year or more: " If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee...first be reconciled to thy brother" . I read this as meaning 'If you have a problem with your brother, go and make it up with him'. But it doesn't say that. If you remember that your brother has a problem with you- i.e. when it's not your fault, but you know somehow he has something against you, although you don't have anything against him... Now this is an altogether higher and more difficult standard. And yet our tendency is simply to skim read and miss it all together.
We read the promises that we will always be provided with our basic needs, that we therefore should not anxiously worry about tomorrow...and yet we fail to believe them. On a community level as well as individually, there have been things we have been utterly blind to, although they were clearly stated in the word. We were amazingly slow to come out of darkness. Examples of this could be multiplied. The Christian hesitation to face up to their responsibility to go into all the world with the Gospel is one example of this blindness to what we now see as obvious. The segregation of black and white believers in the early American and African ecclesias is another. If we have been blind as individuals and as a community in the past, it's quite likely that we still have our blind spots- serious ones, probably. Some things we did soon after our baptism we now see to be obviously wrong. How many more steps up the ladder must we go through?