I’ll admit it. Jesus connects things that aren’t always obvious to me. I look at passages of Scripture and it can seem an odd amalgam of Jesus’ random thoughts. Now, I know Jesus isn’t saying bizarre things as a joke on Christians. He didn’t goof in jumbling it all together, but I’m not catching on to what He wants to reveal until the Holy Spirit develops the picture before my eyes. Such is the case with Matthew 6:16-24 and the eye and lamp commentary.
Matthew 6: 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
How are those things possibly connected? Why sandwich the eye between fasting, treasures, and money? What do a hypocrite, an investor, and a master have to do with light? It isn’t a joke like 3 pastors went into a bar…
Let me ask a different set of questions. Have you ever seen someone that you knew was a believer in Jesus because there was a twinkle or a light of joy to his eye? Have you ever seen a mugshot of someone whose eyes had no light whatsoever and it was like his soul was vacant and his morals dead?
The eye, good or bad, can reveal what’s in a person far more than what they show on the outside with their public viewing profile. God sees beyond externals to what’s inside, where your heart truly is, and what you actually value. People can put on a great big show of self-sacrifice to parade before men, but underneath it all God sees (and His light exposes) whether it’s God or some other master whom you really love.
Fun Fact of Light: Photographic Development. “The word “photography” is a compound word that is originated by the Greek language. “Photo” means light and “graph” means draw. The first photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce …[and it was] produced on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea.” (Bitumen of Judea is a tar-like compound which is also called Syrian asphalt.)
Techwalla explains: “All cameras function in the same way–they capture patterns of light (what we see as images) on plastic-based film covered with a silver compound. When you take a photo, the shutter opens briefly to capture the image the lens “sees” and imprints it on the film’s silver compound. Color film has three layers of silver compounds, each sensitive to different hues of light: blue, green and red. In order for the film to be turned into an actual photograph, it has to be developed. The secret to Polaroid Instant Cameras is in the film: The film itself already contains the chemicals necessary for photo development… When you first see a Polaroid image come out of the camera, the photo itself is still gray. As the image appears slowly before your eyes, what you’re actually seeing is a chemical reaction: the special chemicals reacting with the silver compound.”
For further thought:
- As the Polaroid image of your life develops instantly to people nearby, if your eye is a lamp, what does it show?
- Photographs record our memories and our life’s history. Where’s Jesus in yours?
Lord Jesus, we are so grateful that Your Holy Spirit takes from what is Yours and makes it known to us. May Your light reveal our hearts as devoted to You. May our eyes be good, seeing You as merciful and loving. Grant that our lives would be a work of genuine art, revealed by Your light, so that the world might know Your grace. Amen.