In the book of Luke, Jesus seems to be urging his followers to take a stand for what is important. He says, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or crypt or under a bushel measure, but on a lampstand, that those who are coming in may see the light.”
“Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound and fufilling its office your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fufilling its office, your body is full of darkness.”
I’ve been contemplating that second part today. The idea that the eye is the lamp of the body is pretty interesting. It seems like Jesus is saying that the eye is the most important thing. When it is functioning correctly, all will go well. When it is not doing what it is supposed to be doing, all will go poorly.
It’s almost a paradox. Because through the eyes we take in much of what we know about the world. Yet Jesus is saying that the eyes are the place that we can either bring light or darkness into the world.
I think maybe the deal is this: we choose what we put our eyes on. We do this quite literally all the time. Do we choose to stare at things that arouse the worst parts of us? Do we choose to look at things that might lead to cynacism, inpurity, despair in a physical and direct way? Or do we turn our sights upward. Do we look at things that make us stronger and better people?
And of course, if this is all true in a literal sense, it’s so much more true symbolically. Where do we cast our vision? Where are we looking to end up spiritually?
If I understand Jesus correctly, he’s saying that the places where we look determine the place where we go. And the places where we go, these determine the very nature of the light or darkness that we carry within.