Matthew 6:22-23

Last week we talked about the relationship of treasure and worship: we worship what we treasure and we treasure what we worship. The Sermon on the Mount, as a whole, is about our hearts, their condition, their capability and God’s calling and provision of surpassing righteousness. We closed last week with verse 21,“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our next time together we will talk about verse 24, “No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve God and mammon (or money).” Right in between these two statements about treasure and worship comes two verses about the eyes: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” In some ways, these verses seem out of place, they seem like another thought that Jesus had in the middle of His teaching on money and worship and yet, because Jesus is divine and because His teaching is God-breathed we have to look deeper than the surface and not take His words apart as if they were not connected but force ourselves to see their connections, to ask the same Spirit that inspired Jesus to speak these words and Matthew to write these words to inspire us to read, interpret, and understand these words. What is Jesus teaching us about our eyes? Again, the entire sermon is about our hearts and so Jesus has not changed gears, our eyes have a connection to our hearts. Verse 21 taught us that our hearts follow our treasure; in Matthew 12:34 Jesus said “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” teaching us that the mouth reveals the heart; and here in verses 22-23 we learn that the eyes fill the heart. Look at the verses and notice that Jesus does not say that if your eye is good your whole body will be good or that if your eye is bad that you whole body will be bad; He gives much more weight to our eyes and says “If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad your whole body will be full of darkness.” The eye fills the heart, but this is not a calling to close our eyes in the midst of the world we live in and see nothing around us; Jesus is teaching us to be mindful and careful and thoughtful about not only the things we look at but the way we look at things. Job said “I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then should I gaze at a virgin?” We must be careful about what we see because everything we see enters into our hearts but we also must be careful about how we see. I believe that Jesus is teaching us in these verses to be protective of our perspective, to be careful to see things the way God sees them. Our perspective will always determine our direction. When Israel’s perspective changed to fear they decided to abort the Exodus to the Promised Land and return to slavery in Egypt. Secondly Jesus is teaching us to be determined in our discernment. Knowing God’s will requires a discernment of God’s work, very simply if I don’t know what He’s doing I can’t join Him. I don’t think it’s oversimplifying things to say that Jesus was rejected as the Messiah simply because most if Israel did not know that the will of God was to save men from sin rather than save them from Rome. Finally today I believe that Jesus is teaching us to guard our affections. The things I value will ultimately take possession of my heart. Israel valued their reputation among the nations, they wanted a king so that they could be like the rest of the world so that they could be accepted by the rest of the world; they gave their hearts to a worldly government because their eyes were concerned with their reputation in this world. Our hearts follow our treasure, our mouths will ultimately reveal what is in our hearts but it is our eyes, what and how we see, that determines what our hearts are full of.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.