Archive 2014: Matthew 6:23-24

Matthew 6:23-24

“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” (verses 23-24). I may be wrong about this, but I believe this verse is talking about our perspective on things. If we have a Christian perspective, and we see the world in light of the fact that Jesus Christ is truth and that he is all things good and our only Savior, we are filled with the light that is Christ. Apart from Christ, we are dead in our sins. If we choose to reject Christ and instead choose sin, we will ultimately die apart from Christ, and we will be filled with darkness. I can’t state how different a life with Christ at the center looks compared to a life where sin leads and destroys. Jesus gave this analogy of the eye and the body because he understood how important it is to have a heart that is first and foremost focused on God. It is only through Him that the natural darkness of sin may be replaced with the light that is Christ. “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” (verse 24). How this verse stands out from the relativism that has sunk into our world! Jesus puts things into black and white terms here so that there may be no confusion. And this verse is perfect in context of the two previous verses, because just as light and darkness don’t mix together, one cannot truly follow Jesus and their own desires. I think people forget that many of Jesus’s followers (not the twelve disciples) stopped following him at one point or another when Jesus gave commandments like this one. We want Jesus to be a part of our lives, put we want it to be on our terms, not his. We want Christianity to add to our social lives and to our standard of conduct, but we don’t want to totally commit just in case we’re wrong about Christianity. Jesus wants no such half-hearted commitment. And he knows that the only way we can truly serve him is by no longer considering sin to be sweet. How can we love Christ until we truly see how terrible sin is? That is to me the toughest part of Christianity; learning to accept that the sin I was so drawn to for so long no longer had the same appeal. This isn’t to say that I don’t struggle with sin, because I do every day. But now that I know how God views sin, I can’t in good conscience enjoy that darkness anymore, because I value how much more rewarding the light is. The Holy Spirit continues the work that Jesus began in us by continually convicting us of our sin and reminding us that the light which dwells in us will have nothing to do with our natural sinful ways. I find it rather fitting that Matthew, a tax collector, would remember that Jesus specifically told him that a man cannot serve both God and money. There is no grey area in this verse. For many of us, money is our master. We obsess over it, we desire more of it even when we have plenty of it, and we worry about what we will do without it. That was never God’s intent. God wants our totally reliance to be placed in him, not money. I think Jesus said this for everyone because he was in a world where people were trading money in temples. God’s house was only the center point for man’s greed. And I believe we live in the same type of world today. We would rather check our stocks than read our Bibles. We would rather invest than tithe. Rather than serve money, we need to search our hearts and ask God to remove money as our master so that the only master left in our hearts is He, the ultimate light.

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