Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. John 18:28 (ESV)
They were leading Jesus, the exact imprint of God's nature, to the civil authorities being manipulated to have him killed. However, they didn't want to defile themselves and be disqualified from partaking in the feast that the Old Covenant had prescribed for exclusive worship of God. How can mankind be so blind?
Sight is the fruit of a believing heart. When we can't see what we need in order to live productively, it is because of an unbelieving heart. It is interesting that the unbelieving heart usually demands to see with its own eyes. Think of the occasion when Israel stands on the brink of the Promised Land. God has given his word that they can have the land, but they demand that spies be sent to check out the situation and see what the facts are. Because they demanded to see with physical eyes, they couldn't see with eyes of faith, and they misinterpreted reality.
We are living in the part of history's story when the inheritance has been granted to us. But right now we don't see with physical eyes everything that is ours. God has given us the privilege of partnership with him in bringing the invisible kingdom into expression. We live by faith. We are residents of two realms. We have capacity to see the invisible while we still operate in the visible. It is our job to operate on what God says and participate in the transformation that results.
We, too, can be like the blind Jews of this text. While we focus on keeping ourselves undefiled from religious violations, we can miss the whole point of life. I can remember leaders of the local church scolding young boys who were running in "the Lord's house" while they stood at the door to prevent black people from entering. Which is the defilement? But that was awhile back, and it is easy to condemn that generation from our liberated perch. This generation, however, can also easily lead Jesus to his death while protecting itself from religious defilement. Just recently I was listening to someone telling how he was scrupulous to tithe each month to his local assembly so that he would not be brought under the curse of Malachi 3:9, but he had no intention of being involved with helping the poor of his city. After all, he had worked hard for his money, and he wasn't going to throw it away to irresponsible people who were looking for a handout.
What is the equivalent in my life?
True sight is a great privilege. It is part of the benefit of being born of the Spirit. When sight is clear, we can see the kingdom of God. When it is clouded, we try to build our own kingdoms and protect them from whatever seems to threaten, even if it is Jesus himself.