April 18 - Matthew 6:22-23

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18 - Matthew 6:22-23

“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!”

This verse makes little sense unless you look at the verses both before and after it in which Jesus is speaking about money.  First he says that we are not to lay up our treasures on earth, but in heaven and in the following verse, he says that we cannot serve both God and money.

In Near Eastern culture, the ‘evil (or bad) eye’ is that eye which is greedy or wants what someone else has.  If you spend your time trying to match your wealth to someone else’s, your body will be full of darkness. All you will have is envy and unmet desire inside.

On the other hand, if your eye is healthy, the implication here is that you are generous with what you have.

If you only bring darkness into your life, how great is that darkness, Jesus asks.

My father was one of the thriftiest men I’ve ever met. He drove my mother nuts. He didn’t make a great deal of money as a pastor and since mom didn’t work outside the home until later in life, our family had to make do with what we had.  I don’t ever remember wanting for anything, except a few extravagant toys every once in a while.

That man was generous, though.  We served meals to a great many people in our home, church members, visitors and transients.  I remember quite a few meals with people who were traveling through town and had no money to go any further. Dad would feed them and then head to the gas station to fill up their tank and help them go a little further.  I’ve heard stories from others who received a gift from him when he knew they needed it.

Generosity lights a person up. I guess that makes some pretty good sense.