Yesterday I was looking for potatoes to make mashed potatoes for dinner. I looked in the pantry and found none. When my wife got home, I told her we were out of potatoes. She opened the same pantry and in two seconds pointed to a 10-pound bag of them sitting in plain sight. I looked at that same bag only 10 minutes earlier and did not recognize it for what it was. When I saw it, it did not look like a bag of potatoes to me, so I assumed it wasn’t. I was being dumber than a sack of potatoes.
Then I read this verse this morning:
A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. (Proverbs 14:6)
The book of Proverbs is like a pantry full of God’s wisdom sitting in plain sight. A person with a heart to see it can find plenty there just sitting on the surface and more with careful study. A scorner can look in that same book and find nothing. If I come to God’s Word with my own expectations of what I think the truth should look like, and with my own image of what God should look like, I won’t find anything. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were exactly like that. They had their notions of what Messiah should be and when they came face to face with Him, they didn’t recognize Him.
Their preconceived notions of what Messiah should be was not their only problem. They also had misconceptions about themselves. Like the scorner, they assumed they were OK. Jesus was the problem. Because they could not see their own need, they could not see Jesus as the solution to their problem, but many of the common people could. Even the disciples, who like the Pharisees were expecting Jesus to restore the kingdom immediately, could recognize Jesus because they also knew they needed a Savior who could forgive their sins. They could see the Savior that way because they recognized themselves as sinners. The Pharisees could not conceive of a Savior Who forgave sins because they did not see themselves as sinners. (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:30-32)
Bible believing Christians can be just as blind toward the Lord as any Pharisee. Paul said “…[L]et him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We can become pretty arrogant in our walk when we forget our dependence on a Savior who forgives sins. We can think because we dress a certain way, act a certain way and do certain things, that we have graduated past a certain level of dependence on our Lord. We can even look down on those who have not achieved our level of “enlightenment.” We can be like Pharisees and blind ourselves to plain truth. Now, isn’t that dumber than a sack of potatoes?