heartsight

Good morning!! An example here of how we perceive the sermon on the mount to be disconnected sayings just thrown together, when in reality the whole sermon is a single, unified talk in which one idea builds upon the other. Jesus begins with the beatitudes, with listing all those the world had written off who would be blessed in the kingdom of God. We are then described as salt and light of the world, which we will be if we put off our old selves and through faith in Him follow Jesus in our lives. He then goes on to describe that he is not about to overturn the law and the prophets, but he is about to give a teaching that, if followed, would lead a person to live as all the law and the prophets intended, thereby fulfilling all that had been written in scripture to that point.

malice
He then gets into behavior, and one point builds on another. For example, unless you’ve dealt with anger and malice and envy in your heart, then talking about loving, forgiving and praying for your enemies is a wasted point. If you’re an angry, spiteful, jealous type of person, how can you be asked to forgive anyone their trespasses and sins against you? You’re still at the point plotting revenge, holding grudges and getting even. It’s only after you get anger and envy under control that you can then begin to be the type of person who might bring mercy and forgiveness into the world.

consumerism
So it is with Jesus’ teaching on our treasures. We see Jesus teaching on laying up treasures in heaven and not in earth, and can understand why it’s such a waste to be living for the acquisition of things which begin to deteriorate the minute we buy them, and/or the accumulation of money which we could then use to buy our things. We basically know that we will continue to do all we can to pile up our money and buy our things anyway because that’s how our American liturgy has formed us – we are formed from birth to be consuming consumers, coveting every hot new toy, shiny new car, big new house, and smiling pretty face our eyes come across. But at least we can understand the concept.

where your treasure is.png
So Jesus teaches on our treasures, telling us not to waste time in things that will rust away. He tells us then to lay up our treasures in heaven instead, where moths nor rust nor thieves in the night could never take it away from us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬.

the eye
Jesus next seemingly jumps into a completely different teaching – The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, 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 in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! He goes from teaching on our treasures into this teaching about the eye being the lamp of the body, a completely separate, disjointed teaching which has nothing to do with what had come before it. Except that Jesus is teaching exactly the same thing. These are not two separate teachings, but just an expansion of one upon the other.

filled with light
The eye is connected to the heart. So we can read these scriptures together, just as they are in the text. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, 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 in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! The heart, again, is our will and spirit. It is the center of our soul from which our whole beings flow. If our heart is directed correctly, then our lives, personality, and character will follow.

if-the-light-in-you-is-darkness
Jesus next solidifies this truth, makes it more concrete. As Dallas Willard puts it, he compares our “heartsight” to our eyesight. Think about how our eyesight affects and enables how we relate to the world around us. The eye is the lamp of the body. If our eyes work well, we can easily move around whatever environment we find ourselves in. After all, we can see the obstacles before us, your whole body will be full of light. The world is illuminated before us.

drug of choice
If our hearts treasure what is eternal, that which lies within the kingdom of God, we see everything for its true worth and proper relationship. If we treasure what is “on earth,” then we have a distorted view of things and are generally misled in our lives. The relative importance of things, and their relationship to one another and ourselves is out of whack. Think about the person who is addicted, whether it be to drugs, alcohol, sex, food, whatever their “drug of choice” happens to be. The object of their desire is the center of the life, their “eye” sees everything in relation to their addiction and the fulfillment and enjoyment of it. Their own body and soul, everything in their life, even their very life itself, becomes secondary to feeding the addiction.

two masters
The addict is an extreme example, but it gives a clear example of what is meant when Jesus says but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. He expands this very quickly – If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! If the light in you -the eye of your soul – is not working, then you (I) are in the dark about everything. You know neither where you are nor where you are going. This is what it means to be a lost soul.

we-cannot-follow-two-masters-truth-or-tradition-720x340
Then, of course, cones the big finish to this particular point on the things we treasure. “No one can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.” Is your treasure in your bank account, in your driveway, on your big screen, or maybe a smaller screen so you can be more “discreet”? Is everything just as ok as your 401(k)? If I lose my job tomorrow, will I have the same hope I have today?
We will serve our treasures. We work hard for them all day and dream about them all night. We think we can treasure both the things of this world and God’s Kingdom. We try, try, try to make it work, but there always comes time to make a choice. We can’t have two competing ultimate goals for our lives.

crucified-king
We can not serve both God and the things of this earth. Their requirements compete and conflict with each other. Unless God is already the focal point, then what financial security demands will ultimately lead to conflict with Gods kingdom. This is why we have the first commandment – “”You shall have no other gods before me.” ‭‭ Exodus‬ ‭20:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬.

eccehomo
Remember what the chief priests and the scribes said to Pilate leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion? “They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”” John‬ ‭19:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬. They had no king but Caesar, the truth came out. They proclaimed their true allegiance to the king of this world. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. So they crucified the one true king. Their eyes were dark, therefore their souls were in the dark, they could not see when the light was right before them.
How is your “heartsight?” Is your lamp on or off?

jesus-christ-king-0205

“”The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, 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 in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:22-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.22-24.esv

John Lewis

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5 thoughts on “Heartsight

  1. Hi, John:
    To build upon what you said here, I thought I’d share notes from two John Jenkins videos:
    Matthew 5:3-9 New International Version (NIV)

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    The Be-Attitudes (Beattitudes – part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6U2U0AHuX0)
    Your checkbook will reveal what you’re longing for. Where you spend your money…
    The people you hang out with — your friends, the people you like being around is a reflection of what you’re hungering and thirsting for.
    Your lifestyle will show what it is you long for.
    Righteousness means to be in right standing with God.
    Some of you want to be in right standing with people. The problem is the people that you hang out with are not people who are going to make your life better. As a matter of fact, no human being can give you what you’re longing for.
    There’s a promise associated with every beatitude. God gives you a principle and a promise that goes with it.
    If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you’ll be filled. That word filled is important because it means God will give you an abundance.
    We have a generation who grew up being told if they got a house and a job and a car and a career and this and that, you’ll be happy. Then they got those things and found out it didn’t satisfy them. Fame, money, sex, drugs, alcohol wouldn’t do it. It’ll make you feel good for a minute.
    Blessed are the merciful because they’ll get mercy. Mercy = compassion, to pardon, to have pity on, to be affected by the suffering of others. Mercy means you feel the pain of others and want to relieve them of that pain. You withhold punishment from those who deserve it. You don’t try to pay people back when they do you wrong. You give them another chance.
    I need God to give me another chance, not a second chance – I used up my second chance a long time ago. I thought what I shouldn’t have thought. I said what I shouldn’t have said. I meditated on what I shouldn’t have meditated on. I went where I shouldn’t have gone.
    God says if you give them another chance, he’ll give you another chance.
    Nobody in here has been perfect.
    He said your sins and inequities i will remember no more.
    I’ve got some skeletons in my closet. Some of y’all have fresh bodies. It hasn’t had a chance to decay yet. You pushed it in there last night, closed the door.
    Blessed are the pure in heart – those who keep jealousy and envy and malice and hatred and covetousness and deceit and backbiting and spitefulness and lust… keep your heart clean.
    Blessed are those who guard what enters their thought life.
    We serve a God who looks beyond external behavior.
    God looks at the condition of your heart.
    If he sees your heart is twirling around in immorality and meditating on hatred and malice, he said, “That’s a problem.”
    You say, “I can’t stand so and so. They get on my nerves. I don’t like them. I hate them.”
    God says, “That’s a problem.”
    The Be-Attitudes (Beattitudes – part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMP1o1xD_Wo)
    Blessed are those who want to make peace.
    A proper attitude is one that seeks to be at peace with people.
    Some people like to fight.
    But Jesus says, “I give high regard to a person who says ‘I want to do whatever it takes to make peace, even if it means taking responsibility for something I didn’t do.’”
    Some people always want to keep tension and stress going.
    If they sue you for your coat, give them your sweater, too.
    Hebrews 12:14 – Pursue peace with all people.
    Romans 12:18 – If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
    Here’s the problem: Some of us have unresolved conflict with people…and some of us have adopted an attitude that if they don’t want to call me and apologize, I’m not talking to them. So you are content and happy to be in relationships that are severed. Jesus said, “That’s not the kind of person I want to be a part of my kingdom.”
    Matthew 5:23-4: Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, first be reconciled with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
    God loves peacemakers.
    Some of you need to look at the relationships you have had. The people you said, “I ain’t ever talkin’ to them again no mo’.” You’d better hope God doesn’t treat you the way you’ve treated some people.
    The promise for this principle: They’ll be called my sons.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
    Don’t be surprised when people get mad at you for taking a stand for righteousness’ sake. It goes with the territory. When you say, “I’m not drinking with you anymore, I can’t sleep with you anymore, I can’t go there with you anymore,” you’re going to upset some people. We live in a culture in which people don’t like to be persecuted. We don’t talk about suffering, persecution – but that goes with the territory. They’re gonna call you names: Miss Holy Roller, Mr. Holier Than Thou. They are embarrassed, ashamed, they want you to go down the same pipe with them.
    But I’ve got a new attitude.
    It is impossible to be in right standing with worldly men and God. You’re either going to please people or you’re going to please God.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey brother, it’s been awhile since leaving a comment. Can I just say you have a beautiful spirit. Great post!
    Your post hit heart. John wrote that the message is God is light and in Him is no darkness. Jesus invites us to become sons of light. The verse in your post speaks of being filled with light.
    Knowing battles with darkness, how welcome is God’s light. Thanks man for writing for the fight and healing.

    Liked by 1 person

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