“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
_ Jesus | Matthew 6:22-23
A few days ago I came across this text. I’ve read it many times before and never really thought much about it. Then I did some digging. Jesus seems to be saying something about the kinds of people we can be. In this text, who we are becoming comes down to our eye sight.
Jesus’ audience believed that the eyes determined someone’s generosity and how they lived their life. Someone was thought to have “good eyes” if they recognized someone in need, were financially generous, and or practiced hospitality.
If someone were thought to have “bad eyes” this person would turn away from someone in need, hold tight to their resources, and live as the King/Queen of their own world. This person a little to no depth perception.
1. Keeping the light on allows us to have better depth perception.
This helps me understand leaders like Pharaoh. I always wondered why he wouldn’t let the Israelites go. You would think after plague 5 he would give in. Sometimes, I think, people who have “bad eyes” have lived in the dark, for so long, they can’t find the light switch. It’s not like Pharaoh wouldn’t change his “eyes” – he couldn’t. When we are not living out of generosity, love, and or peace it limits our depth perception. We can’t and don’t want to see what might happen if we saw someone else’s perspective or even come to the reality that life and leadership is this eb and flow of coming and going ideas.
2. People who have “good eyes” see creativity.
Admittedly, I have been the person with “bad eyes” more than i can count. No, I didn’t want to turn the lights on. Yes, I wanted to remain in darkness. To turn on the lights, might mean I could be wrong. There is a not a self-confidence that comes with “good eyes” but a confidence, in Jesus, who makes this claim. People want peace, but they don’t want turn the lights on. There’s an addicting, self-loathing comfort to staying in the dark. There is never one way to approach life, solve a problem, or grow something. However, if we keep the lights off, we think there is only one way to do life. As it turns out, it’s out way. Like a dark house, people who have “bad eyes” are unapproachable to others and themselves.
3. Having “Good Eyes” has nothing to do with theology and everything with spiritual formation.
This text is actually a conversation about the whole person. Yes, theology is important. However, I’m talking about a theology that allows us to be lead by the Sprit and not moral. It is more dangerous and humbling to be lead by the Spirit than to follow the rules. When Jesus says people, who have “bad eyes,” are full of darkness – Does that mean sin? It might. It might also mean attending a church, hearing sermons, and singing songs, might be “enough” for them. The working out of why their “House” is dark, may not be a conversation that person wants to have. I think life is annoying conversation to leaving our house light on or wait in darkness.