Light and Darkness

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:22-23

To help us understand where our life-focus should be, Jesus uses the example of the relationship between our eyes and the body.

The only way that light can enter into the body and be interpreted and used is through the eye. If our eyes are focused on one thing (single), then we will be filled with light and understanding about that object or subject. If, however, we are unfocused and view multiple things at once, we will have no true understanding of any object or subject.

Naturally, this makes perfect sense to us. But are we truly understanding what Jesus is saying here? Do we see the extreme to which He takes this metaphor?

Jesus is not telling us that if we “multi-task” our lives; living for the world sometimes and for the Lord at others; we will understand a little about each. He is saying that if we try to do this then the only understanding we will have is darkness. Jesus is saying that we cannot do this and grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus is saying that we are actually filling our understanding with nothing!

If the only thing we understand is vain and empty, then our lives are vain and empty as well. The state of the world reflects this clearly. Everyone is always searching for something new and the entertainment industry reigns!

Consider two statements made by King Solomon:

I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-14

Here, Solomon did try to take in all the world and its riches. What did he find? It was not only empty, it made him sick (vexed) to the soul!

But notice how Solomon concludes his writing:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole duty of man.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Solomon, at the end of his life finally figured out what his life was supposed to be all about. The whole duty of man is to keep the commandments of God. Those are fulfilled in two basic principles – love God and love others.

A life that is devoted to serving others is a life with true meaning and is full of light!

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