Monday, May 26, 2014

The Eye is the Lamp Part I

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, 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 that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

Jesus was the master illustrator and on this occasion draws His illustration from the eye. He refers to the eye as the light of the body.  Through it man is able to comprehend that which is outside of himself. It is one of the most important of the senses.  When the eye becomes defective the life is blurred.  Jesus relates our spiritual condition to our ability to see clearly. To do that, there must be light.
It's no accident that the main function of the sun at the center of our solar system is to provide light.  Light is what drives life. It's hard to imagine our world and life without it.  Jesus, however, uses this to raise our awareness of the need for the spiritual light that enables us to focus our lives properly on God and His view of our world, our lives and His purpose.

The eye is the lamp of the body…
How does the Eye Work?  The ability to see starts when light reflects off an object at which we are looking and enters the eye.   The eye is like a camera.  When you take a picture, the lens in the front of the camera allows light through and focuses that light on the film that covers the back inside wall of the camera.  When the light hits the film, a picture is taken.  The eye works in much the same way.  The front parts of the eye (the cornea, pupil, and lens) are clear and allow light to pass through.  The light also passes through the large space in the center of the eye called the vitreous cavity. The vitreous cavity is filled with a clear, jelly-like substance called the vitreous or vitreous gel. The light is focused by the cornea and the lens onto a thin layer of tissue called the retina, which covers the back inside wall of the eye. The retina is like the film in a camera. It is the seeing tissue of the eye.  When the focused light hits the retina, a picture is taken.  Messages about this picture are sent to the brain through the optic nerve. This is how we see.  What must be understood is we cannot see without light. The amount of light increases our ability to see clearly and farther.

The eye is viewed as a medium through which light enters the body and gives it direction.  The eye is not itself light, but only an instrument for receiving and imparting light, so in the gaze of the soul there is no inherent light, but it is the means of receiving and imparting light to the soul.  As the body is illuminated by the eye, (the body learns its environment, and naturally, almost automatically, tends to accommodate itself to it) so is it with the gaze of the soul.  If our gaze is on the things of this world or only ourselves, the soul perceives and then tends to accommodate itself to the things of this world.  If upon things in heaven, it perceives and then tends to accommodate itself to the things in heaven.  The idea here is simple but beautiful. The eye is pictured as the window through which light comes into the body and the body then moves in relation to what is perceived.

The brightest sun cannot enable a blind man to see. His eye will not allow the light to enter or will not reflect the light that enters.  The Word of God is light. Psalm 119:105 says Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 

If your eye is clear... If your eyes are bad…
The amount and quality of the light that comes into a room depends on the condition of the window through which it comes. So it is with the eye. The condition of the eye determines the quality of the light that enters the body.  If we have clarity and unimpeded vision, that is, if our view of the world and our ethical perspective are grounded in undivided loyalty to God, then we can avoid the obstacles and pitfalls that lead to spiritual destruction.  He is saying that the light that comes into a man’s soul depends on the spiritual condition of the eye though which it has to pass because the eye is the window of the body.  Without that light we walk in darkness.  The light is the revelation of Christ in our lives.  His light and the revelation of His Word cause us to see what has been there all the time.  So the light of the soul is understanding and judgment, and its power of discerning between good and evil, truth and falsehood.  Not only do the eyes of such a person receive light, but radiate light to those around them.  Take in the light of the Father and radiate it back to the world. 

Scripture to Claim:
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

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