1.  The Parable of the Blind

A professor is often revered as a great scholar, but in truth, a professor is only a celebrated novice.  One is made or called a professor because they have learned so much about a very little matter; because they know more than many others in a very small area.  They remain generally ignorant about larger truths of life.  The professor of ants might know the names of a thousand species of those crawling creatures that have nothing to do with my next breakfast, yet know nothing about camels and clouds.  A professor of American History might be able name all the Pilgrim Fathers and how each died, yet know nothing of the great history of an African village, much less how to fix his faulty phone.  For many of his repairs, he is at the mercy of the roadside mechanic with not half as much learning.  The professor of pediatrics will desperately need the orthopedic surgeon when he breaks a bone, and the unschooled taxi driver to tell him where to find the critical cobbler.  Mighty as Elijah was, he had no answer to Jericho’s lingering problem of common knowledge.  It his servant to fix it, with very little apparent effort (2 Kings 2:19-22).

There’s an ancient Indian folk tale, subsequently composed into a poem by John Godfrey Saxe the famous 19-century American poet, about six blind men in Hindustan who went to ‘see’ an elephant.  The blind man who had felt the broad side of the elephant announced stoutly that the elephant was like a wall.  The one who had felt the tusk was insistent that the elephant was like a spear.  The other at the trunk was adamant that the elephant was verily like a snake.  Another was ready to war because, from his perspective down at the knees, the elephant was like a tree.  Finding himself at the tail, another was loud and clear that the elephant was like a rope, and on and on, each blind man insisted over the others that his part of the truth was all the truth.  That’s how we know blind men: by the trademark of their belligerent parochialism, their cantankerous and implacable narrowness.

  1. The Limits of a Prophet 

The Bible verily admonishes that even the best of prophets knows only “in part,” which is very humbling (1 Corinthians 13:9).  In other words, the best prophecy is only part of a whole whose other parts are in the mouth and hearts of other prophets, some of them ‘lesser’ prophets.  The Bible further advises that even when as many as two or three prophets might have spoken, a silent fourth prophet (who has had no vision nor prophesied on that occasion) would be a very important judge, to validate the authenticity or otherwise of those many active voices, because the majority might not always be right, especially in spiritual matters.  According to the same scriptures, no one has all the prophecy, and none can prophesy all day.  There comes a time to keep quiet and humbly receive the other ‘parts’ from other voices (1 Kings 22:6-28; 1 Corinthians 14:29-31).  In other words, the fact that someone has prophesied nothing yet on a matter does not make them less of a prophet; it doesn’t mean that they hear God less.  The louder voices are not necessarily the holier or the more endowed.  Noise could be inspired at times, but true spirituality is neither told by the loudness of voice nor the thunder of worshipful trumpets (1 Samuel 4:4-5, 21-22; Psalm 66:1; 2 Chronicles 5:12-14).

According to Prophet Isaiah, true wisdom is often “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10).  Bethsaida might be a blessed beginning, but it certainly is not the end of the world; Bethsaida might be a sweet part, but that is just what it is: only a part, not the whole.

No matter how endowed or anointed one might be, there comes a night in life when one cannot enter Gethsemane alone, even if all that the found companions do is sleep absently instead of praying earnestly to bear the burden with us (Matthew 26:36-38).  Regardless of their many earnest prayers, anointed loners in gracious Gethsemane would usually be easier preys when Judas calls (Matthew 21:46; 14:5).

Anyone too big to accept that what they know is merely a part; anyone who must insist that their view from Bethsaida or Siloam is the only authentic position on all spiritual matters, will sooner lead the house astray, based though on a genuine encounter, on one unstable leg of a mighty revelation.  Such folks might be good and sincere people in themselves, but not firm enough to risk a great house upon them, as they have not followed “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us” (Acts 1:21-22, NKJV).

Every foundation does not carry every structure.  It is dangerous to draw a global guideline on one spectacular encounter.  It is risky to create a universal doctrine out of a private experience.  One good voice is not always good enough for taking a whole nation into battle.  Beautiful though a Bethsaida revelation might be, it is not sufficient in itself for staking the destiny of an entire people upon it (2 Corinthians 13:1; Proverbs 24:6).  The lamp that guides MY feet is not sun enough for all the world.  God is broader than Bethsaida, deeper than Siloam, more ancient than all ancestors.  One good leg is good, but not good enough for winning every race.  Beware the sensational doctrine of the spittle and the clay.  True prophetic wisdom still says, “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”  Amen.

    From The Preacher’s diary,
November 1, 2022. 

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Emmanuel Oforji
Emmanuel Oforji
3 months ago

Very thoughtful and deep.This is an uncommon understanding and revelation of divine truth I’m blessed.Thank you sir.Shalom.

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