What Do You See?
Matt. 6:22 ¶ “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light;
Matt. 6:23 but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
This passage in Jesus’ sermon has given people pause. It’s not entirely clear what it is that he is trying to say but there are those who say there is a physical as well as a moral understanding. Physically the eye is the part of the body which has an affect on every other part of the body. What we see directs the ways in which we will go. The hand responds to bring the food which is seen to the mouth of the individual. Our feet are led on the pathway that is seen by the eyes. There is something incredibly centering about the eye for it receives data which will then influence the remainder of our behavior. This is the problem with a diseased eye, for it cannot clearly interpret the signs and it makes it more difficult for the entire body to remain on track.
From a moral perspective that which the eye sees will drive behavior. Are we singularly focused in our lives — focused upon Christ? This is the moral question regard to the eye. It is the morally healthy individual who will keep their focus on the things of God while it is the spiritually unhealthy individual who will be driven toward the darkness.
I would like to suggest another way in which to think of the eye for today we understand the role of the retina. It is the beams of light which are absorbed by the nerves which are found in the retina. These are then sent to the brain that interprets what it is that we see. When we keep our focus on Christ, then the light of Christ is what is absorbed by our retina and it is his image which is then transmitted to our brains. Remember the folks in the Old Testament who repeatedly talked about seeking the face of God! There is something about continually seeking Christ, seeking the face of God that becomes burned into who we are.
Remember when we were little children and our parents told us not to look into the sun? Of course, if you are like me, you tried it a time or two! The result was a bright blob in the middle of your vision which remained there for a period of time. No matter where you looked that bright blob was in the middle of your field of vision. The light of the sun had been almost burned into your retina and the image remained long after you stopped looking!
When our eye is healthy — when it can absorb all the light that it sees, then we begin to have a clearer image of Christ, and the longer we look at him, the more the image will remain in us!
The question for us must be, “what do you see?” What we see will determine how we live our lives. This is true on a moral level, a spiritual level, but also a physical level. Just as the image of Christ can be burned into our eyes and brain, so can the “dark” images that we allow our eyes to see and ponder. This is the problem with pornography. The darkness of the images will be embedded in our brains until there is no room left for the light of Christ. There were problems in Christ’s day with people being engaged in unhealthy practices and he understood this. He knew that if the eye wandered to the dark things of the world, then the whole body would be in darkness.
The only solution to the problem is for the eye to be turned and focused on Christ. He is the source of true light. Whatever it is that we see today, that will control our bodies and become the compass. May it lead us to his light!
Lord, please help me to see your face today. Amen.