11/16 Matthew 6:22-23

22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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!

To understand some of the Bible passages, we must understand some of the Hebrew idioms. They referred to a good or healthy eye to mean someone who saw the needs of others and was generous toward meeting that need. An evil or bad eye meant someone who was selfish and unconcerned about others' needs (Proverbs 22:9; 28:22). Without understanding this idiom, we would think people with poor vision were evil.

Light and darkness are metaphors for good and evil. So in this verse we have an idiom with a metaphor. Jesus was telling us that the way we see the world and react to it tells others what is in our hearts. Those who are caring and generously act on the behalf of others are full of light, which is goodness and/or truth. Those who are selfish in their behavior with little concern for others are evil and that evil is very bad. Think of those who have had great power over men and used it to oppress and intimidate them into service. Some are so dark that they take lives without a thought.

We should allow ourselves to see the spiritual and physical needs of others so that the lamp of the eye fills our body with light. Selflessness is a sign of godliness. No one who is evil can genuinely give of themselves to others. This teaching is the basis for Jesus saying that the one who desires to be first among men must be the servant of all (Mark 9:35).

Consider: Your spiritual progress can be measured by your concern and generosity toward others. Do you have good eyes?