Are You Spiritually Blind?

          Charley Boswell was a star football and baseball player at the University of Alabama. He played minor league baseball for the Atlanta Crackers in 1941. In WWII, he was blinded when a German artillery shell exploded as he was pulling a crew member from a tank.

          Boswell rehabbed at an army facility in Philadelphia that specialized in eye injuries and took up golf during his recovery. He was such a great athlete that his game rapidly improved and he placed second in the national blind golf championship in Inglewood, California. The next year he won the championship at the Northland Country Club in Duluth, Minnesota. That victory launched a career in which he won 16 national championships and eleven international championships.

          In 1958, Boswell came to Fort Worth to receive the coveted Ben Hogan Award. Hogan agreed to play a round of golf with Charley. Boswell said, “Would you like to play for money?”

          Hogan said, “That wouldn’t be fair!”

          Boswell said, “C’mon, Mr. Hogan, are you afraid to play a blind golfer?”

          Hogan was pretty competitive and said, “OK, I’ll play for money. How much?”

          Boswell said, “$1,000 per hole.”

          Hogan said, “That’s a lot. How many strokes do you want me to give you?”

          Boswell said, “No strokes. I’ll play you straight up.”

          Hogan said, “Charley, I can’t do it. What would people think of me taking advantage of a blind man?”

          Boswell smile and said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Hogan. Our tee time is tonight at midnight.”

          Boswell wrote a memoir entitled Now I See. The blind beggar Bartimaeus could have used the same title had he penned his story. One moment he was blind, the next moment he had sight. Can you imagine the exhilaration?

          It was just another day of sitting and begging for Bartimaeus, but he sensed a stir in the crowd and heard that Jesus was passing his way. So he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).

          Bartimaeus may have been blind, but he saw he had a need, and had the insight that Jesus could help him. Faith believes before you can see. In fact, faith believes what you can’t see.

Though Bartimaeus was blind, he called out to Jesus, believing Jesus could heal him right away. That’s faith!

Helen Keller was asked once, “Isn’t it terrible to be blind?”

          She responded, “Better to be blind and see with your heart than to have two good eyes and see nothing.”

          Too many people can see physically but are blind spiritually. Spiritual blindness is the condition in which a person cannot understand, perceive, grasp or comprehend spiritual truth.

Satan often keeps people in the dark. 2 Corinthians 4:4 reads, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ . . .”

Satan keeps people from coming to Christ or hinders believers from growing in Christ by blinding them to the truth of God. Yet, when they turn to Christ, Jesus can help them see through spiritual eyes.

          Bartimaeus requested sight. Immediately, Jesus gave Bartimaeus sight and he followed Jesus.

          Bartimaeus not only sensed his need, he seized this opportunity (Jesus possibly passed this way only once and he had to seize the moment).

He also persevered and overcame the major hindrance of bystanders attempting to silence him. Isn’t it sad that sometimes well-meaning people keep people from coming to Jesus? They saw Bartimaeus as a nuisance and discouraged him.

          Yet, verse 48 records that Bartimaeus cried out even more. Bartimaeus was determined to get Jesus’ attention. He was truly seeking Jesus.

          Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” The answer was obvious, but Jesus wanted to hear Bartimaeus ask for sight. His asking expressed faith and demonstrated confidence that Jesus had the power to heal.

          Jesus said, “Go your way; your faith has made you well, or, literally, “saved you.” Faith always sees what the human eye cannot see.

          That’s why Paul wrote, “For we walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

          Do you see God at work, or are you spiritually blind and spiritually dense? Lord, help us to see with eyes of faith and have the ability to grasp spiritual truth.

Dr. David Chancey