Jesus wants us to think through the implications of leadership. If I am going to lead you, you assume some things about me: that I know where I’m going and that my understanding surpasses yours and will help you. You assume I can see. “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?”(Luke 6:39).
The troubling part of the blind leading the blind is not the blind follower. It’s natural that a blind man understands his need for help and seeks to be led. The tragic mistake is that in his blindness he has enlisted the help of someone no better off than himself. “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher”(v. 40). We will not rise above our teacher; we will only become like him. Implicit in Jesus’ words is the fact that we must choose those to whom we listen. There is danger in following others who are just as blind as we are.
In our time, there are so many voices vying for our attention and allegiance. Scientists, political figures, and religious thinkers are seeking adherents. These are in addition to the arrogance of the “ordinary” man who assures himself and others that he has things figured out. But how can the blind lead the blind?
What about Jesus? Jesus gives divine wisdom and testifies of things beyond this world which he has experienced (and we have not). More, he is exactly who we would like to be. We will not do better than our teacher, but what if we could become like Jesus? Isn’t that the worthiest goal for our lives?