Mark returns as a guest contributor this week. His probing questions call for open-hearted reflection.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. (Luke 11:34-36)
My eyes are passive, aren’t they? They produce no light. They only receive light and are completely at the mercy of the images that surround them. Of course, when they are open, they do see. And what they see lights the body in understanding of the environment around me. Of the five senses, eyes are the reaching sense. More than hearing, feeling or the others, seeing is a long distance thing. But again, they produce no light of their own, and are merely receivers.
But eyes are really not passive, are they? They are drawn to the passions of the heart. They are gateways of desire. Eyes gaze.
There really is a lot of responding involved in seeing. And there is a lot of revealing in how we respond to what we see.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, (v. 34)
A healthy eye is a spiritual eye. It longs to see what God sees. It seeks out imagery which fills the whole person and then calls that whole person to act in the world around as God directs. It is an active participant in the fullness of life in Christ.
but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.
But a bad eye is looking at the world from a godless perspective. It reacts to what it sees like an animal – it is drawn to and it gazes at that which serves itself.
Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. (v. 35)
This is a disturbing thought. Jesus was exposing the religious spirit of his day. The leaders claimed to have exclusive rights to God. They put everything in meticulous order and policed the lives of others. Arrogantly assured of their own righteousness, they reflected neither mercy nor grace. Their houses were swept in order and a worse evil resided in them.
How can I be assured that I am not just like these men? How do we assess how we are doing? We claim Jesus. We hang around church. We listen to Christian songs in our cars. We tithe. We send our kids to Christian Schools. We mostly stay away from alcohol and R-rated movies. Everything is right and in order. We can feel pretty proud of our efforts to be good Christians.
But can we say we see the world God sees? Do we really see beyond our own self-interest and comfort? Like the Pharisees, are we missing the weightier matters of the Law; matters of justice and of the love of God? Do we practice our religion with ourselves at the center? Just how sure are we of our alignment with God regarding what is around us?
A simple question, then . . . does our heart burn for the lost children of God? If not, why not? This is the Father’s heart. The Son of Man was sent to seek and save the lost and He invites His people into His labor.
If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. (v. 36)
We produce no light or our own. We merely reflect those things upon which we gaze. Are our eyes fixed on Jesus?
Is my eye dark or light? Has the enemy set up house in my swept abode? Or am I free in Christ to enter into His work? Am I filled with the Holy Spirit?
Let there be light . . .