National Israel has been blinded during this present age regarding the truth of the person and workings of Christ. Nor does national Israel have a grasp of the immutable glory that awaits them as revealed by God millennia ago.
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself; a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6
The Apostle Paul described Israel’s present blindness.
“…Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: ‘God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see…’” Romans 11:7-8
Israel’s present blindness is the result of a sovereign act of God; it is temporary and their blinders will be removed in God’s timing.
“…have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy. …Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!” Romans 11:11-12
Israel’s present temporary blindness is allowing God to accomplish His future purpose for them while accomplishing His present purpose for the Gentiles.
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” Romans 11:25
The term ‘blindness’ in the present context has several synonyms including to ‘hide’ or ‘harden’. Such blindness is a judicial act of God.
In the gospels, Jesus also used the term ‘blind’ to describe the Pharisees and scribes.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …Woe to you, blind guides… Fools… who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:12-25
Of a surety, one cannot say that Jesus was politically correct. He was not hesitant to tell it like it is.
The Greek base for the term ‘blind’ in this context meant ignorant, stupid, or slow of understanding. The Pharisees were also referred to as guides who can be interpreted as one who leads the way, or a teacher. The term hypocrite refers to one who is a counterfeit, evil, or deceptive; one who is more interested in appearances than reality and pretends to be what he/she is not in order to please others.
Perhaps the most serious accusation of Jesus to the hypocritical, blind, foolish Pharisees was their influence on others, i.e., not only do they reject the truth but they encourage others to travel the path to destruction along with them.
“For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” Matthew 24:13
Therefore, the Pharisees who chose willfully to ignore the truth did not understand the message of the kingdom which Jesus revealed to His followers in the form of parables.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull…’” Matthew 13:13-15a
In this present time period, this great nation is pulling further and further away from the truth. Contemporary legislation allows protection for those who break God’s laws. Symbols of the Cross, prayer in public places, or even invoking the name of God may offend others. Our political correctness pacifies the minority resulting in denying the One who purchased our freedom.
This nation is in reality becoming blind.
Then the question arises, is America’s blindness the same as being experienced by national Israel, i.e., a judicial act of God whereby God is ‘hardening’ our hearts in preparation for future indescribable glory?
Or on the other hand, is it the type of blindness exemplified by the Pharisees, i.e. stupid, deceptive, and hypocritical which leads to destruction?