Scripture Testimony on Fools

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 8
(From the New Testament.)
The blind guide.—The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, designates as fools those poor, self-deluded instructors in religion, who shut up the kingdom against men, neither going in themselves nor suffering those that are entering to go in! No vocation on this earth is more terrible than that of the "blind guide"—the man in soul darkness himself, in the gloom and blackness of ignorance of God, who leads other poor blind souls to destruction! These "fools" strain out the tiny gnat from their religious food, but swallow the camel's carcass; they make clean the outside of the platter, but are indifferent as to its inside; they whiten the outside of the sepulcher, but for its contents they care not. The Lord denounced them when He walked in Judaea; may God have mercy on them in our own day in Christendom.
Reader, if you would enter the kingdom, be not led by a blind man, for if the blind lead the blind both will fall into the ditch. Shun every teacher and preacher who cannot tell you the way of salvation, and who cannot give an answer by God the Spirit that he is safe for glory.
The professor.—The Lord speaks of the virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom without oil in. their lamps as foolish, (really the same root word as is used for fools). Alas, how many at this moment are among those who have thus gone forth to meet our coming Lord! They have none of the Spirit of God in their Christianity. Ours is a day of many lamps, but of little oil—a day of much profession, but of little reality. Awake, awake, professor, lest when the Lord comes, you be found among those who deceive themselves, and who will be shut out forever from eternal light and joy. No one can surely fail to own that a brightly burnished lamp with no oil therein is a vain and foolish thing to carry in the dark night.
See to it that yours is a religion of truth in the inward parts; be not content with mere profession, lest for a dark eternity this stern word "fool" be applied to you.
The hearer, but not the doer.—The Lord declares that he who hears His sayings and yet does them not, shall be likened to the foolish man (still the same stern word) who built his house on the sand which was swept away by the flood. Works, religion, resolutions, morality, are all for a foundation but sand. Many are building hopes for eternity on nothing that will stand the storm of judgment. Theirs is daring folly. Great will be the fall of these houses when the judgment comes. Woful will be the end of these poor foolish souls. Our first consideration for eternity should be, What is our foundation? Reader, escape from among these deceivers of themselves. Be not yourself as to this the foolish builder in time who is lost for eternity.
The passages already referred to make use of the term "fool" very much in the same way that we now in English accept the word. There are three other words, however, in the New Testament which are translated "fool." One of these words refers to a man without understanding. Numbers of men who have plenty of brain-power would be designated fool, or without understanding, by the Scriptures of truth.
The wise professor without understanding. The Lord, when unveiling the senselessness of Pharisaism, its zeal for external religion, its indifference to the state of the soul before God, said, "Ye fools, did not He that made that which is without make that which is within also?" (Luke 11:4040Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? (Luke 11:40).) God deliver each one of our readers from mere externals in religion. They will never save the soul, nor wash away one stain of sin. The end of such a course of religion will prove its utter senselessness.
The wise skeptic without understanding.—God calls the skeptic a fool: “Fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die."(1 Cor. 15:3636Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: (1 Corinthians 15:36).) The skeptic argues about Scripture and disputes about the truth of the resurrection of the body. To be sure, such a man is wise in one sense; he has reasoning powers, and the world accredits his wisdom. But God calls him a man devoid of understanding. Our bodies shall rise again, and we shall live to die no more. Think of the resurrection, reader, and be not in your manner of life here one who is practically "without mind." Whatever this life be to you, leave not out of your reckoning the resurrection.
The wise man of business without understanding.—A different kind of wisdom from that possessed by the reasoner on abstract subjects is requisite for prosperity in business. In order to get on in this world and to gain riches, a man must be shrewd; and wise the world accredits him to be who succeeds in it. Men write the lives of those who began the world without a sixpence, and who died full of honors and riches. Yet God calls such men, if they are not rich towards Him—devoid of understanding, fools.
The Lord shows up to us the madness and the folly of being careful in business and earnest after prosperity here, to the neglect of our hereafter. To the rich man, in the midst of his plans and wealth, who calculated on markets, stocks, and produce, but never calculated on eternity, God said, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." (Luke 12:2020But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:20).) Wise for time, wise to make money—rich without God—a fool for eternity, poor, indeed, hereafter—not able even to obtain a drop of water! Eager for the world, heedless of God! Alas!. alas! we so often hear (and as our ink is still wet on our paper we hear) of the sudden death of the wealthy business man. Some say he worked too hard, but this is the real reason, reader—his time had come —his end had approached; God had said, "Thy soul is required of thee." So will our time come-both yours and mine. Are you ready—are you wise for eternity, and rich towards God, or are you a fool for eternity?
Disciples without intelligence.— Another word translated "fool" occurs, amongst other occasions, in a verse with which we are all familiar. It fell from the lips of our risen Lord, when He, in the pity and love of His heart, overtook the two disciple: on their way to Emmaus, and heard them describe the testimony of the women and the others as to His resurrection, and listened as they declared to Him their unbelief. How like ourselves! Lo! the very Scriptures lie before us, and the sweet testimony to their truth is in our ears; but, nevertheless, we too often practically tell our Lord Himself, "We do not believe Thee, Lord.”
Then Jesus, as He walked with these disciples, said, "Oh, fools" (that is, without intelligence), "and slow of heart" (heavy, dull of heart) "to believe!" But how tender is the Lord to us, even when chiding us for our dull-heartedness. Child of God, is the open Bible before you, wherein you read of peace and pardon, of the Lord Himself risen from the dead, and of the work of redemption all accomplished, and yet, with its pages before your eyes, are you distrusting Him, and practically telling Him, "I do not believe, Lord"? Be not of them to whom He says, "Oh, fools, and slow of heart to believe.”
If our reader be, through grace, at peace in his soul before God, we would say to him, "Chide not these disciples, unwise and slow of heart as they be, but cheer them. Remember the apostle who said he was a debtor to the unwise (it is the same word, rendered" fool," addressed by the Lord to His disciples). Go teach them tenderly and lovingly the gospel of God; seek to be in some little measure like Jesus on his way to Emmaus.”
St. Paul addressed the Galatians, who were making much of self, and thus making little of Christ, as "foolish" (see ch. 3:1-3.); and so must every legal-hearted soul be spoken of. Many a zealous religious person in this day is trying to get good out of self to present to God; trying to make self worthy for heaven! These are really what the apostle said the Galatians were.