“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 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.Therefore be careful lest the light in you be 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.”
Sometimes when we are reading the gospels, we assume that the same wording in a different gospel is the same occasion and application. It was so interesting to see that in this instance – the bad eye was used in the context of Jesus being accused by the Scribes and Pharisees and then warning the Scribes and Pharisees… quite different from the context of this similar teaching in Matthew 6 (The Sermon on the Mount) in the context of possessions, treasure, and worry.
Here is this ‘same language’ found in Matthew:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23 ESV)
I do believe it is plausible that Jesus often repeated thematic elements… repetition is good.. and the disciples heard many of the teachings of Jesus over and over.
LIGHT– is one of those things that cry out to the existence and glory of God. If you look at the Genesis creation account- LIGHT was created by God and it dispelled the darkness. Light and Day were created BEFORE the Sun and Moon (that was Day 4!).
If you did not have the Bible- LIGHT would still be enough to cause the human mind to contemplate a Creator. Why?
Well, it is so unique… it has been discovered that light is a particle AND light is a ray. Einstein sums up this interesting scientific observation of light being particle and ray at the same time:
“It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do”
Also- when Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards- were outlining their case for Intelligent Design, they were suddenly grasped by a reality that seemed to ‘reveal’ more evidence than just the ‘fine tuning of the universe’ properties that seemed to suggest prior intelligence in the formation of our planet and the environment most favorable to life. Not only were the basic laws understandable.. they were discoverable.. and not only that, we live at a particular platform where these things are OBSERVABLE!
In their mind, the fact that light was available and we had an atmosphere to SEE beyond our planet was too ‘coincidental’ to not be ‘suspicious’. The slot machine of the lottery wheel seemed to be rigged….
I have been following with some interest reports that began in 2014 that some light is actually missing...(July 12, 2014- 80% of the light in space is missing http://rt.com/usa/171896-universe-light-photon-underproduction/). The theologian in me ( and I am no scientist… and amateur theologian at best) immediately knows where that light is… the soon to be visible grandeur of God’s Son.
So back to the passage…..
I have always been intrigued by the way Jesus says, Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.
and again in Matthew: If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
I don’t know about you.. but having DARK LIGHT in me sounds serious and heavy!
As great as light is in the physical world… the dynamic of spiritual light and darkness is even more so!
The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
searching all his innermost parts. (Proverbs 20:27 ESV)
The NLT says it like this:
The LORD’s searchlight penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive-
SO WHAT IS THIS DARK LIGHT THAT WE FIGHT BY A SHINING LIGHT?
The fundamental difference in the Christian worldview and predominate spirit of this age is in determining man as evil or good. The world says, “Man is good, but he sometimes does bad things.” This view believes man’s intentions and motives are for universal good. If educated and free, man will choose to help others and end evil.
BUT…the Scripture says, “Man is evil”. Born into a depraved condition. Whose motives are greedy and malicious. When he does good, it is usually tainted. He speaks lies and defends immorality. Good only exists because of the common grace of God.
This is the paradoxical dichotomy of man. He builds hospitals. He sells illegal drugs. He gives to the poor. He brutalizes children. He gives to charity. He robs from the poor. What explains this? ‘Man is good and does bad things’? or ‘Man is evil and is good only by God’s common grace’?
The Bible’s answer is most likely correct. It fits the either/or reality in a more correct way. Modern man rejects original sin and blows it off as myth. I accept it because it defines me according to the reality of my nature.
Without God, how low would I go? I tremble at the thought.
When the searchlight of God hits my motives, I stand before the world guilty and condemned. Who is my advocate? Who can cleanse me? Who can forgive? “Therefore now, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)”I don’t have to cover up my sin problem, I give it to my Savior.
SPIRITUAL DARKNESS IS THE SHADOWS OF SIN AND SHAME:
Job 24:13,15,17 (NIV) “There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths… The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed… For all of them, deep darkness is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.”
Isa 29:15-16 (NIV) Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!… Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing?”
If I say,“Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
(Psalm 139:11-12 ESV)
JESUS CHRIST SHINES A SPIRITUAL LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
(John 3:19-21 ESV)
SPIRITUAL LIGHT IS A KEY TO SALVATION AND SANCTIFICATION
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
(Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:5-7 ESV)
AS JESUS IS LIGHT- WE ARE TO ‘WALK IN THE LIGHT’
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
(Romans 13:11-14 ESV)
THE NEW JERUSALEM WILL HAVE A SPECIAL LIGHT:
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
(Revelation 21:22-27 ESV)
SO HOW ABOUT IT…do you want the dark light or the light of salvation?
Physical light has a speed.. the speed of light is:
299 792 458 miles per second!
The Speed of Spiritual light is FASTER… it responds to the cry of the sinner to the Savior….
Thank-you Lord for the searchlight- but mostly, thank you for the lighthouse of the world.
Please allow Your light to cast out the darkness and may it shine from me to a dark world hiding in shadows of shame and sin.