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.
Even though you have a separate heading above this in your Bible, it’s part of the previous conversation about people asking for signs.
First, Jesus tries to make it clear that He hasn’t been hiding anything from anyone that wants to see the truth. It doesn’t make any sense to put a burning lamp under a basket and it doesn’t make any sense for the Messiah to not do His great works.
But, if somebody has bad eyes, they can’t see things. There was a superstition then and it still exists in the Middle East about “The Evil Eye.” Basically, it goes that if someone looks at something you have with envy, evil spirits get jealous and it becomes a curse on you. We had a lady in Turkey approach us and our fabulously cute red-haired baby boy. She hung some amulets on him (to protect him, right?) and then carried on about how cute he was. The Istanbul airport has a big one hanging from the roof.
So if you have bad eyes, you are looking at things with envy or with jealous intent. Jesus is calling out the religious leaders of the day that are jealous of His attention, power, and wisdom. This goes for every one of us that looks with envy or cursing or jealousy. It’s not just a wish or a whim. It affects our soul with every look! We can control what we look at. We can control what we think when we see it.
When our life is full of Christ, it fills up and overflows to anyone that comes too close. We can see a child of God instead of a person to be exploited. We can stand strong in who we are in Christ instead of lashing back at the person that offends us. We can see the hurt someone is struggling with instead of casting judgment on them like a too-big coat.
You might be thinking of somebody that strikes you as being “full of light.” If so, call them up and hang out! Let them influence you! If you thought of somebody that is a dirtbag scoundrel, maybe you could grow from taking a break from them.
Christ is in us, through the Holy Spirit, as a seal for our salvation. We love it when He shines out of others, and our friends around us love it when He shines out of us.
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