Blindness (Mark 4:11-12)

Jake walked into my office holding a microscope slide. I smiled at him, anticipating what he was about to ask of me. 

“Fite stain?”

“Yup. Thanks again!”

“No problem.” I took the slide from him and examined it under my microscope. 

In surgical pathology, the tissue on a microscope slide is stained with a variety of stains, most commonly hematoxylin and eosin, enabling the pathologist to differentiate the many structures. Many of us are familiar with these stains from our science classes, peering into microscopes to see the structure of cells. While these stains are helpful, much of diagnostic surgical pathology relies upon pattern recognition, rather than color differentiation. However, there are important exceptions. When a pathologist looks for evidence of a tuberculosis infection, a special stain known as a Fite stain is utilized, which will highlight the organisms in the tissue sections if present. The organisms are tiny but, with this special stain, will stain a brilliant red against a green background. This is a straightforward and common diagnostic analysis for someone with normal color vision. Jake, my former partner, had a form of red-green colorblindness. Thus, whenever he viewed this stain, red and green were in shades of gray, making identification of any positive staining organism extremely difficult. 

If we have normal color vision, we take for granted the recognition of basic colors. For a person who has color blindness, they may have no concept of how some colors should appear. What they see is not what others see. There is a parallel for our spiritual lives. We should be able to discern when we are in a dangerous situation that could lead us into temptation and sin. However, for some of us, like those with color blindness, our spiritual vision is impaired. We may not know how to recognize or perceive these dangers. 

And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”

Mark 4:11-12 (ESV)

When our Lord Jesus Christ spoke these words to His disciples, he was describing a spiritual blindness. If one is not enlightened by faith and belief in Him, one is unable to truly recognize the abundant and everlasting life He has prepared for us. Only Jesus Christ can give us a true spiritual vision, to discern the path to salvation by trusting in Him as Lord and Savior. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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