By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea
(Delivered on May 10, 1953)
(Delivered on May 10, 1953)
You heard today the Gospel story about one of the greatest miracles of Christ - the healing of a man born blind. Much could be said about this, and I've been talking about it for years. Today I want to talk about what I did not speak about, about those words of Christ, full of great significance for us, which He spoke after the healing of the blind man. He said:
“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
“I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see may see, and those who see will become blind” (John 9:39).
How will you understand these words, amazing words, words that no one before Christ could have said? He came for judgment, He came so that those who do not see may become seers, and those who see may become blind. He came to judgment to judge those who proudly considered themselves to being able to see, to being enlightened, clearly understanding everything; to the judgment of them who with contempt for the common people who were called blind; to the judgment between those who considered themselves to see everything clearly, and those who called themselves blind, who were considered to see nothing and not understand.
What was this judgment? How did the Lord make those who do not see see, and make those who see blind?
He said about Himself: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
He brought the spiritual light to the world, which was unknown before His coming, He brought that light, which was not thought of, which was not known to those who considered themselves to be seeing and enlightened, to clearly understand everything.
He showed the world that they are deeply, deeply mistaken, considering themselves to be seeing when they are in fact completely blind, spiritually blind. He came in order to bring to the world a teaching that would reveal spiritual light to all those who were considered blind, who did not understand anything.
He brought light into the world, and all the humble in heart, all the meek, who were previously considered blind, believed in Him with all their hearts, loved Him with all their hearts and followed the path indicated by Him.
They believed in what He said, they saw the light that He brought to the world, they felt and accepted the light brought by the Lord Jesus Christ in their hearts.
They believed, they loved, they followed Christ, they began to fulfill the commandments of Christ with all diligence, and for this they became close to the Lord, became friends of Christ and even brethren of Christ.
A miracle happened in their hearts: because they loved Christ, because they believed in Him with all their hearts, God Himself indwelled in their hearts, cleansed by this faith and this love. According to the word of Christ - an unfaltering word - He came with His Father into their hearts.
Well, did they not know the truest, most obvious, most radiant light? Have they not become seers? And the unfortunate ones, full of pride, who considered themselves to know and understand everything, have they not become blind?
They rejected Christ, rejected His commandments, rejected the path that He showed.
They did not love Christ, and therefore they did not unite with Him in their hearts.
These are the seers who have become blind. These words of Christ were heard by some of the Pharisees who were present during the conversation of the Savior with the healed blind man. And they asked the Lord: “Are we blind too?” Jesus told them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin in you; but as you say you see, the sin remains.”
The words are not easy to understand, words that I must explain to you. What does "If you were blind, you would have no sin" mean?
If you were really ignorant, blind people, then the sin of not believing in Me would not be imputed to you.
You should have first received your sight, first believed in Me, and then there would be no sin in you, you would be in the light.
"But as you say you see, then the sin remains."
But since in pride and self-importance you consider yourself as having sight, and consider yourself leaders of the enlightened people of Israel, then the sin remains.
The sin is that you did not believe Me, that you were indifferent, that your hearts were petrified when you saw countless miracles, when you listened to My words, My teachings.
It is precisely because everyone saw and heard this, and yet did not believe in Me, considering themselves to have sight, that your sin remains in you, and you, of course, will remain forever blind.
As you can see, after the Lord Jesus Christ healed the bodily eyes of the man born blind, He now speaks to the Pharisees about spiritual blindness, and this must be understood.
And one must understand that they are spiritually blind, just as the Pharisees were blind, just as blind are all those into whose hearts the light of Christ did not penetrate, for He said of Himself: "I am the light of the world."
Have you ever heard of such a light that darkness could not embrace? No, you have not heard of such a thing, for any physical light can be enveloped in darkness, it can become invisible, but the light of Christ, which He brought to the world, cannot be embraced by darkness, it shines in the darkness, no matter how thick this darkness is.
The unfortunate ones who remain in spiritual darkness are all those who do not want to know the true light, the only true Divine light, which the Lord Jesus Christ brought to people.
Not knowing this light, all evil people are in constant darkness, all those who hate their brothers and sisters, all blasphemers, liars, slanderers, unclean people, defiled by fornication and adultery, and above all, all proud people, completely devoid of humility, for they cannot be close to Christ, all those who follow their own path, and not the path indicated by Him, cannot believe in Him - all the workers of iniquity, all the unmerciful, and, of course, all the thieves, all the unfortunate bandits.
And for us, to whom the Lord Jesus Christ opened the way to salvation, shouldn’t we remember, forever remember the words of Christ in response to the Pharisees who asked Him if they were blind too: “If you were blind, you would not have sin in yourselves; but as you say you see, the sin remains.”
Do not think that if you were baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, if you confess your sins, if you repeatedly partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, if you perform all the rites of the Church, if you pray often - do not think that you are no longer in darkness, do not be presumptuous.
Look, look closely every day in your heart, if there is any darkness there. And if you see even the slightest darkness there, immediately disperse this darkness with tears, bitter tears. Amen.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.