Last week, we looked at Jesus’ use of salt and light in the sermon on the mount to describe the influence a Christian should have on the world. Our focus this week is a chapter later, but in the same sermon. The Lord said:
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your
eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But
if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of
darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is
darkness, how great is that darkness!
The verses leading into this text address the need for us to set our affections on heavenly treasures rather than earthly things (Matthew 6:19-20). In the verse immediately following our text, the Lord unequivocally stated that it is impossible for our loyalty to be divided between two masters—a sentence parable in its own right. As we look at the image presented here by the Lord, the eye being the lamp of the body, we must do so with an awareness of the contextual discussion having a spiritual focus and with the understanding that we cannot allow our focus to become fragmented. We must put the Lord first, and seek after the things of God, secure in the knowledge that He will provide for our physical needs (Matthew 6:25-33). In fact, I believe the common experience of God’s people is that the Lord supplies well beyond the necessities.
What is our eye focused upon? What captures our attention? Such will define what manner of person we are. As the eye goes, so goes the whole body.
Throughout the Bible, light and darkness are used to represent good and evil respectively. The child of God has been called out of darkness to walk in light (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:7). It is essential that we walk in the light. To do otherwise is to do contrary to the call of God. We cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with God.
The body goes where the eye looks. Test it for yourself. As you’re walking in a safe place, turn your head to the left. Your body will follow, ever so slightly. Keep looking left for an extended period, and you will find that your path has been altered drastically.
The same will happen in our spiritual walk. If we are focused on the wrong things, then we will find ourselves going in the wrong direction. If our eye is good (attentive to the things of God), then our whole body will be filled with light. Our words and actions will display the character of God, and we will be useful for the kingdom of God.
Conversely, if we’re fixated on the things of this world, we will be self-serving and of no benefit to the Lord or His cause. If our eye is drawn to materialism, we will be materialistic. If our eye is drawn to lust, we will be consumed with lust. Where the eye goes, the body will follow.
Luke 11:34-36, a parallel to our text, immediately follows Jesus’ statement about lighting a lamp and putting it on a lampstand so that people may come to it and see the light. Friend, we are called to be a lamp in a world of darkness. But if the light that is in us is darkness, how will people of the world be able to see? Let our eye be focused on the things of God, and let our speech, actions and whole being be light.