A very short parable from Jesus about being in the light, and more to the point, about being the light of the world. Pay attention, you’ve probably read this before but missed what I think is the point.
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. Yes, we are to be a light to the world. After meeting Christ, we are to share the Good News we’ve discovered, share the change in our life and heart, both by speaking about it and through our way of living, being a light for all to see. If you’ve met the savior of the world and have asked Him into your heart, His love should be flowing out of you. You now know the truth of the love of Jesus Christ and God the Father, part of loving people in the Great Commandment must be sharing that truth with others.
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. Now this is setting up the real point of what Jesus is telling us. I could talk about the health benefits for your soul of what your eye is looking at, how if you are choosing to look at the wrong things with your eye, it brings darkness into your soul. That might be part of the point here as well, but really I think Jesus is just using the health of the eye for a bigger point he’s about to bring.
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. The light of the body depends on the eye. If the eye is healthy, we get all the light we need. But if the eye is diseased, we can wind up blind and living in darkness. But here’s the point – The light of your life depends on your heart. If your heart is right, your whole life will shine with light. If your heart is wrong, your whole life is darkened. Jesus here is urging us to keep our hearts right, to keep our inner lamps burning and useful for putting on a stand and shining for the world.
Our hearts, our inner light, can be darkened many ways. One way is to harden your heart. Think about your hands. If you work in an office all time, never getting your hands dirty, then decide to take on a major mechanical project, there’s a good chance we might irritate our hands and develop painful blisters. But if you keep doing that kind of work, we develop callouses, our skin is hardened, and it doesn’t bother us to do that any more.
It’s the same way with sin. The first time you do a wrong thing, the first step you take down a wrong path, you know it. Your heart is racing, you might be very nervous. You might feel guilty afterwards. But the more you keep repeating that sin, that wrong thing, it gets easier and easier. Before long, you are still doing something you know us wrong, it just doesn’t bother you anymore. That is the terrible hardening power of sin. You never take that first step without warning bells going off in your heart. But if you do it often enough, you will no longer care that you are doing wrong. That sin we were afraid to do has become a habit, and we are never the same. And once we reach this stage, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Maybe your heart has just become dull. Things that once bothered you, no longer bother you. Like passing the homeless in the street, driving by horrible accident scenes on the highway, or seeing a sex and violence in a movie. The first time you see something like this, it leaves a mark. But the more you see of these types of things, the less they affect your heart. It might bother us at first to see suffering and pain in the world, but the more we see it, the more we accept it and the less it bothers us.
So it is with the word of God. The first time we hear it, we may be moved by it. We might almost want to accept the free gift being offered. But maybe we don’t, we tell ourselves we will do that later. Except the next time we hear it, it just doesn’t affect us anymore. And then the more we’ve resisted, the less chance we are affected the next time we hear the Good News. Our hearts become dull to that as well.
Or maybe we just have a rebellious heart. Very often a man knows what us right and deliberately chooses wrong anyway. How many people feel God tug on their collar only to pull away? It can be with eyes wide open that we run for the hills when God is calling us home.
God save us all from our dark hearts. Keep your heart healthy and let you light shine for the world to see.
“”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.””
Luke 11:33-36 ESV