Suppose you met a man who was blind from birth. Suppose also that that man’s eyes looked normal, but did not function at all providing no manner of signal whatsoever to be transmitted to his brain. Now suppose you got into a conversation with him about vision and blindness. During that conversation, the issue of color came up. How would you describe color to him? What language would you use? What words could possibly convey the idea of color?
If you handed that man two tennis balls whose only distinction was color – one white and one green – he would not be able to tell them apart. Knowing the balls were of different colors would be useless information.
The blind man would, of course be, very familiar with the concept of shapes and textures, but to be able to perceive shapes and textures from a distance would be something he would have no real understanding of and could only imagine. The extra dimension of color would be, to him, quite out of the range of understanding.
Perhaps one day he bumps his head in a way that produces a flash in his visual cortex. He would have no understanding about what it was or what it meant. Unless … unless something in your conversation gave him a clue that the flash was something like light. In such a case he might begin to have some small appreciation for what light is. If he were to bump his head again, his understanding would grow a bit.
Of course, it is unwise for the blind man to go around intentionally bumping his head in order to increase his understanding of light, but the point is some kind of experience is necessary to have any understanding at all.
Much of this is true of knowing the Lord as well. Suppose you engage in a conversation with a man who is spiritually blind. All of your best words about Jesus and salvation may make little difference to him. But he will experience God in some way – some day. When that happens, your words may suddenly make sense. He may have even experienced God prior to your conversation, but did not recognize the experience for what it was. Now he knows and now he is aware. He doesn’t have to bump his head against the wall to grow in understanding like the physically blind man, but he does have to accept the understanding and allow spiritual growth to happen.
So what does all this mean in terms of evangelism? Well, it means that when we are around the spiritually blind we should be sure they know what salvation means – though they might not understand it and might even reject it. It means we should not put stumbling blocks in their way and we must allow them to experience God in whatever way and whenever He chooses to present Himself to them.
See. Evangelism is easy-peasy – and you didn’t have to spend ten years and thousands of dollars in a huge university learning how to do it.
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