“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!” Matthew 6:22-23
If one’s eyes are good and he can see that which is illumined by the light, his whole body and life are full of light. That person can see what is around him and where he is going. But, on the other hand, if one’s eyes are bad and he cannot see the light, his whole body is full of darkness. That person cannot see where he is going and he gropes in endless darkness.
With this simple parable or illustration, Jesus is teaching about much more than the effects of good vision and blindness; He is speaking of spiritual sight and understanding. If one’s eyes are opened so that he can see and understand the message of Scripture – if he can see himself as God sees him and see Jesus for who He really is, his life will be full of light. He will acknowledge and agree with God about his utter sinfulness and look to Jesus, God’s own dear Son, and to His sufferings, death and resurrection for life and eternal salvation! Then he will see and know the pathway of life and will not grope about in spiritual darkness.
But if one’s eye is bad – if he cannot grasp and understand the message of the Holy Scriptures and does not see and acknowledge his utter sinfulness and look to Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death for forgiveness and life everlasting – his whole life is full of darkness. He may live a normal life here in this world, but he doesn’t really see and know why he’s here, nor does he have any assurance about the hereafter!
Often it happens that “the light that is in you is darkness.” A person thinks he knows and understands the way to heaven, but he doesn’t because he has gotten his ideas from some other source than the Scriptures. Thus, people assume that they can get into God’s kingdom by their own works and deeds, that God will accept them if they try to please Him or that there is some other way to be saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ and His blood shed upon the cross for mankind’s sin.
As Jesus says, “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.” Those who think they know the way – who perhaps go to church and are active in various works – are often the hardest to reach with the truth of God’s Word. They see no need of it, for they are convinced that everything is OK with them. Thus they live their lives in darkness and don’t even realize it!
How can one’s eyes be opened that he might see? Only God can open the eyes of the blind. As Jesus opened the eyes of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46ff.), so He can open our eyes and give us light; for He Himself is “the Light of the World.” Those who follow Him “shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Through the hearing, reading and studying of God’s Word – the Bible – the Holy Spirit teaches us and opens our eyes that we might see the truth about ourselves and trust in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting. Through the Scriptures, the Spirit leads and guides us to see and know the way of God in truth!
Open our eyes, dear Lord Jesus, that we might see and know the truth and trust in You – and You alone – for life and salvation. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]