Is your Eye Good of Bad?

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Is your Eye Good of Bad?

Sermon by  Thomas Thornhill Jr

Passage: Matthew 6:22-23


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Sunday, October 18, 2020 am


The Sermon on the Mount (21)


As we continue our examination of the sermon on the mount, we are now focusing on heart and how it affects who we are and our standing with God. Last week we talked about where your treasure needs to be – in heaven. Today, we want to focus on what Jesus says about your spiritual eye. Next week we will talk about which master you will choose.


I.  The lamp of the body is the eye (22)

  1. We know how important sight is. It is a wonderful sense that helps us to get where we are going. Almost everything we do depends upon our ability to see – from driving, to working, to coordinating how our body works, to keeping us from running into things and things running into us, to enjoying life. While one can survive without sight, he has to adapt.
    For many of us, we take the blessing of our sight for granted. We do not appreciate our sight until it is gone or drastically diminished.
    ALSO, for your eyes to function there has to be light. The more light, the better you can see (not a perfect illustration because it is possible to have too much light).
  2. Throughout scripture we find numerous allusions to the eye and sight with a spiritual application.   The eye is sometimes described as the window to your soul. What you bring into your body through your eyes shapes your heart.     Obviously, this is not talking about physical sight, but the types of things we crave and how they affect us.
  3. Matthew 13:11-16 – When Jesus answered why He spoke in parables, He noted that it had to do with their hearts. Those with good hearts would listen and see and thereby receive, but those that didn’t want to hear, as we read in vs. 13 – he said that they would not see. He proceeds to quote from Isaiah 6:9-10 which notes that they had shut their eyes (vs. 15). The point was, they did not want the truth, so they found reason to reject it.
    Matthew 15:14, “Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.
  4. THEN, what we allow to shape our hearts comes out of us as either good or bad. For example – In Mark 7:14-15, Jesus speaks of how what comes out of the mouth defiles a man. He notes this is not about what you eat, but what you have brought into your HEART. THEN when asked what He meant, Jesus explains in vs. 20-23, And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” NOTE included in this text is “an evil eye”.
  5. In our text, this is what Jesus is referring to.   Just as the eye brings light into the body and thereby helps you function, so our spiritual eye brings spiritual light into our souls and shapes what we become spiritually.
    Thus the point Jesus is making is that whatever we focus on that is what will shape who we become and are. We can focus on spiritual things and TRUE righteousness (spiritual treasure, the one true master), or material treasures (stuff).     Let’s further illustrate this.

II.    Is your eye good? (22b)

  1. Jesus proceeds to contrast the good and bad eye. He says, “IF therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.”
  2. The word for “good” in the NKJV is from a Greek word that has several meanings – whole or healthy, or sincere. Consider some other translations that help us understand what Jesus is saying.
    NASB – “IF your eye is clear”, meaning there is nothing hindering you from being able to see clearly. It is unpolluted and unclouded.
    ESV – “So, if your eye is healthy…” – indicating it is not diseased or corrupted. It is functioning properly and doing everything it ought to be doing.
    LEB (Lexham English Bible) – “If your eye is sincere…” – meaning genuine, or unhypocritical.
    KJV – “IF therefore thine eye be single” (Also ASV)– a word indicating single focus – you are looking in a particular direction and focused. Consider how someone focuses their eyes intently on something they are trying to reach.   That is a good description of the Christian’s focus AND this section.
  3. Luke 11:33-36, Jesus on another occasion used this illustration. He noted how we let our light shine (His light). Then He notes The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
  4. What is a good eye?
    1. It is one who is focused on things above – Colossians 3:1-2.
    2. Philippians 4:8 – He is one who mediates on these types of qualities
    3. Hebrews 12:1-2 – he is looking unto Jesus at the finished line
    4. Ephesians 1:18, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened: that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…”
    5. He is one who turns his eye AWAY from sinful practices and lusts – Psalm 119:37, Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.
      Proverbs 4:25, Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.
      Psalm 15:4, the one who may dwell in God’s holy hill, “In whose eyes a vile person is despised.
      1 John 2:16 – “Do not love the world… the lust of the eyes…”
      Job 31:1 – He made a covenant with his eyes to not look upon a young woman (with lust)

iii.  Is your eye bad?

  1. A bad eye is diseased or damaged.
    The word for bad here is often translated evil
    – Matthew 5:11, 37 – what ever is more than these is form the evil one…,
    – Matthew 12:34-35, Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
  2. Other ways this word is described is as worthless or unsound. Something that has a serious flaw in it.
    Jesus is addressing eyes that are corrupted. It would be one who focuses on worthless things.   Here Jesus said it is one that brings darkness into his life and lets that rule him – his words, thoughts, actions and even attitudes.
  3. What is a bad eye?
    1. Blinded. One who REFUSES to see the whole picture, or their errors, etc. Matthew 13:15 speaks of those who deliberately shut their eyes (to truth).
    2. Jealous. Matthew 20:15 – is your eye evil because I am good? One who is jealous. He sees the prosperity of another and envies.
    3. Materialistic. Proverbs 28:22, A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.
    4. An eye that lusts.   Eyes full of adultery – 2 Peter 2:14, Matthew 5:28-29 – looking with lust
    5. Winks. Often associated with “winking” is the idea of deceitful motives Proverbs 6:12-14, A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. This implies deceit and ulterior motives.
    6. Prideful. Proverbs 21:4 speaks of the haughty look and the proud look – they are sin.
  4. Jesus noted that if your eye is bad it is full of darkness and that which guides you (your light) is a very GREAT darkness.     Jesus continues to expose the corruption of the leaders and warns about the type of heart we need to have.

And thus we can see another warning to us. Last week, we talked about where our treasure is – it needs to be in heaven. Now we see that what our heart is determined by the decisions we make and the attitudes we develop. This will be followed up with a third observation in vs. 24 – who is your master?

We need from time to time to examine our eyes. We understand that physically. It is more crucial spiritually. So how is your spiritual eye site? If it needs changing, how can we help you?   Think about it.