Turn On the Light!

Jesus says some very interesting words in Matthew 6:22-23:  22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 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!  What does this mean?

A little insight into what Jesus means comes from the fact that the word translated “good” in verse 22 can also be translated “generous” as it is in James 1:5 and Romans 12:8.  This word then fits in with the context of everything Jesus has been saying up to this point.  I don’t think Jesus is talking about the quality of your eye care here.  The eye is a metaphor for the human heart, the essence of who a person is.  If a person is generous, then their whole body will be full of light.  There is such a benefit to being a generous person.  It can be indicative even of spiritual wisdom and discernment.

On the other hand, if your “eye” is unhealthy, bad or not generous, your body will be full of darkness and Jesus says something very interesting here.  “If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness?”  That’s interesting.  How can “light be darkness”?  I’m not sure here but I have an idea.  We know that light dispels the darkness…it only takes a little bit of light to drive away the darkness, or at least a portion of the darkness.  Light is the “thing” which is generated to dispel darkness.  Darkness is the absence of light.  We would not think of light as the absence of darkness.  Yet, that is what Jesus seems to say here.  What would it be like if darkness was itself a “generated thing”?  How much more dark would it be?  What if light was the absence of darkness or if darkness was more “powerful” than light?

I think this is what Jesus is inferring here.  If your “eye” is not generous, then you are prone to generating darkness which will be blinding.  Don’t do that….turn on the light!


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