Posted in theology

There really ARE ‘scales’ on the unsaved’s eyes

By Elizabeth Prata

Did you know that you can look straight at something, and not see it? Ask any customer who was ever in a grocery store and asks the clerk where the Del Monte canned tomatoes are, when they’re staring you in the face. Or when you ask your wife, “Hey, where’s my plaid socks?’ and she points to them in the drawer you’re looking in.

Oops. You can see, but not see.

The unsaved really are blind like that, but worse. They cannot discern spiritual things. The unsaved are not given the mysteries of the kingdom to know. (Matthew 13:11). They are blind because the god of this world has blinded them. (2 Corinthians 4:4).

‘Now hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes but do not see,
Who have ears but do not hear.

Jeremiah 5:21

Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Matthew 13:13

You can see, but not see.

The time I went to Italy with my husband and my father, we visited the Colosseum. My father had always wanted to see the famous arena, and we were pleased to take him to Rome one year. We stood at the entry point for a long time, looking and looking. We talked of the cunning construction. We marveled at the myriad of rooms under the floor. We sighed at the size of it. We looked at all the levels, the many exits, and the thickness of the walls. The one thing I did not see was the cross in the middle of the floor. See it?

EPrata photo

After I was saved, I was sorting through all my hard copy photographs. I picked this one up and my eye was drawn to the cross. I spotted it immediately. Had that been there all along? It had. I was just spiritually blind, literally not seeing it though I saw all the things around it. If my mind had, unknown to me, registered that there was a cross present in my field of vision, it had not discerned it and so, encountering an unknown object, simply dismissed it from my mind without further ado.

It is the Lord who gives eyes to see (and ears to hear). Deuteronomy 29:4, Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

Rather than mock or deride or ignore those who cannot see, pity them. I remember others who took pity on me before I was saved, and I’m sure when I get to glory I’ll meet others I did not know about.

The Lord has pity for the helpless sheep, so lost. “Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

Collage on paper: “Seeing/Not Seeing”. by EPrata

The spiritually blind truly cannot see the truth that is staring them in the face. They see the world, but suppress the truth that God made it (Romans 1:18-20). They can’t understand the logic with which you reasonably share the truth of sin. They are blind, deaf, dumb. The level of darkness in which they dwell is an oppressive, inky, gloomy dark that presses down every cell in their body. They stumble about, not knowing where they are going and not understanding the pit that lay before their next step.

We pray for those who are in the dark, for the Light to come and open their eyes, mind, and heart to the truth of the Gospel. In one sense, the darkness of the lost is a glorious contrast to that moment when Light has come! It is so bright! It illuminates the shadowy corners of the soul with warmth, brightness, and the promise of glory.

Pray for that Light to illuminate their life and for the scales to fall.

Collage on paper, ‘Bad Moon Rising’: Spiritual blindness. By EPrata

Further Resources

What is Spiritual Blindness?

The Light of the World (devotional, Ligonier)


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.