MAN HAS TWO SETS OF EYES
Luke 11:33-36 says, "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lamp stand, that those w ho come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when you eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when you eye is bad, your whole body 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 give you light." Another version renders this passage like this, "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden or under a bowl. Instead, he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light, but when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light which is within you is not darkness. Therefore , if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."
In speaking of the eye and the light, Jesus presented an interesting teaching on the importance of spiritual vision. Jesus was not simply talking about physical eyes and literal blindness. We all know if we have good eyes we can enjoy sunlight, electric light and candle light, and we know as well if our eyes are diseased and defective, sunlight, electric light or lamp lights will not help us. The result can be semi-darkness or total darkness. This was really one of His short parables, and the lamp in this parable represents the Lord Jesus Christ is the light if the world. The word of God says of Christ when He lived on earth, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did nota comprehend it"(John 1:4,5). Light is absolutely essential to physical vision, and is even more essential to spiritual vision. Ignorance is not the mother of devotion, but of superstition. Knowledge, grace and truth are the sources of true faith. The light of Christ is needful to the life of God. We must know Christ and be illuminated by the Holy Spirit; we must have fellowship with the Father's truth, or we are dead a well as dark. Light within we must have or the light outside will not benefit us.
The key thought in this passage is in verse 35, "Therefore, take heed that the light which is within you is not darkness." Peter gave the same solemn warning to Christians. After instructing them to give all diligence to add to their faith virtue, knowledge, self control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love for all men, he then added this solemn warning, " For he who lacks these things is short sighted, even t blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins"(2 Peter 1:5-9). Did you know that Christians can fall into spiritual blindness? The word short sightedness used by Peter comes from the Greek word myopia, a defect of the eyes called near sightedness When Christians backslide and fall into a sinful lifestyle, they have lost sight of God, Christ , the final judgement, hell and heaven. They have become nearsighted and cannot see afar off because they have spiritual myopia. That is what Jesus meant when He said, "Take heed that the light which is within you is not darkness." There is in humans inward light and outward light. Outward light is sunlight and all forms of artificial light. Inward light is the Divine light of Christ in you, for He is the light of the world and the hope of glory. The Bible says that Jesus is the light of the world that lights every man who is on the way to heaven(John 1:9). Christ's light is shining in the world by means of His gospel. Setting aside His metaphoric language, the meaning is that the revealed truth Christ has revealed to mankind is the light of the world. God has placed two kinds of light in the world, one for the outward man and one for the inward man, one for the body and one for the soul. Moreover, God has created two sets of eyes, one to perceive and enjoy sunlight; the other to receive the light of Christ into the inward man. We should take good care of these two lights and use them for the purposes intended.
First, then, consider how light enters the body. One of these lights is the physical eye. Jesus said, " The light of the body is the eye." Into the body the light enters through the eye. A man without an eye might as well be without the sun, so far as light is concerned. At night the eyes of man need some form of artificial light. if a man is to see. The most brilliant light that has ever been invented, or ever can be discovered, will be of no use to the person who has no eyes. Hence, what Jesus said is true, "The light of the body is the eye." If the eyes are healthy and unimpaired, all sights of the physical world can be seen and enjoyed. The physical eye is the opening to the brain as far as physical sights are concerned., but if the physical eyes are impaired or diseased, if cataracts or a skim is over them, or if all sight is gone, then that person must live in total darkness. We ought to thank God constantly for our physical eyes. Our hearts go out to those people who are so unfortunate as to have to live in total physical darkness all of their lives. We should never tale good eyes for granted but acknowledge them as one of God's greatest physical blessings. Those of us who have macular degeneration may end up blind if we live long enough. We well understand what Jesus meant when He said that the eye is the light of the body. Indeed it is and what a precious gift it is. It is in God that we live, move and have our being, and it is in God that we see, apprehend and enjoy all the wonderful physical sights in this beautiful world. The human eye is the creation of God and the gift of God. These words are found in the Bible, "The fool has said in his heart there is no God"(Psalm 14:1).
Next, let us consider our spiritual eyes and how light enters the soul. Jesus in the text was not really giving us a lesson on physical vision. The light of the candle in the parable represented a greater light that God has placed in the world for all mankind to see. This light comes from Christ who is referred to in the Bible as the Sun of Righteousness. By means of light, the eye permits us to see all the beautiful things of f the physical world. As the candle represents Christ the light of the world, so the physical eye is a symbol of a greater ability in human beings to see invisible things. When Jesus said, "Take heed therefore that the light which is in you be not darkness, He was speaking of a vision ability greater than that of the physical eye. It is most important to attend to that which is the eye of the inner man, for in vain does Christ shine in the world if His light cannot enter our souls. What is this other eye God has given us, the other set of eyes which allows us to see all the beautiful things of the heavenly world? The other set of eyes is mentioned in Ephesians 1:18 where Paul offered this prayer for Christians. " I pray," said Paul, "that 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." There is a beautiful hope and an incorruptible inheritance available to mankind to all who are willing to go for it.
The eyes of the understanding is another term for the mind. We can proclaim and display Christ the light of the world to men, but it is all in vain if His light cannot enter into their souls. The condition of the eye of the mind is of utmost importance. Our light or our darkness will depend on it. The soul dwells in our body, but the only connection the soul has with the outside world is through the brain. The brain was given us to educate and train our souls. The only access the light of the saving knowledge of Christ has to our soul is through the mind. The only access we have to our souls is through the mind. The eye of the soul may be viewed as the understanding. When Jesus said, "Take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness," what He meant was take heed to your understanding, your mind. The point He was making is that if the mind or the understanding is diseased or defective it will lead you to spiritual darkness and spiritual blindness. That blindness is far worse than physical blindness. Spiritual blindness is a worse disease than physical blindness. One who is physically blind still has the ability to see Christ the light of the world and all the beautiful things and promises of the heavenly world. In this parable Jesus is teaching that when it comes to our spiritual eyes, make sure you have a sincere, honest, undistorted mind. In the parable of the sower Jesus mentions the kinds of responses people can make to the gospel. One class rejects it completely because of a closed, unreceptive, prejudiced mind. ; another class receives it gladly but suffering and persecution gives them fearful minds, unwilling to bear their crosses for Christ. They fall back into darkness. . Another class become Christians, but the deceitfulness of riches and the cares of the world corrupts their minds, and they love the pleasures of the world more than they love God. A worldly pleasure loving mind prevents them from living godly and righteous lives. But He speaks of another class who become Christians and they honor God by living good, just, holy and godly lives. What was the secret?. Jesus said, Matthew 13:15, "But he who received the seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understand it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty." The secret in being a faithful Christian is to have a good, honest, truth-seeking mind, one that hears the word, understands it and obeys it. According to Luke's account of this same passage, Jesus said, "But that on the good ground are they, who in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience." A good and honest heart is a good and honest mind, a good and honest understanding.
Finally I want to mention several things that act as a catract on te eyes of the soul which we have learned is the eyes of the understanding, the mind of man. What people do not want to see, they cannot see. When man is determined not to learn, when truth is unpalatable to him, when he intentionally twists the truth from its meaning, then his eye is diseased, and the light is hindered from its due effect. Many things darken the eye of the soul. One of the most common is prejudice. This causes a man to think he has light already. He reasons that his father, his grandfather, his great grandfather and previous generations were brought up in a certain religion or a certain church and therefore it must be right. Whether it agrees with the teachings of the lamp of Christ, the Light of the world, is not the question. It is the family lamp; the light family and relatives have handed down to future generations, and he will have no other. When the light comes from God through Christ to him, he at once repels it. He cannot be disturbed. He will not inquire, his mind is made up and wants no evidence. He is satisfied with things as they are. What can be done with one so blindfolded? Little or nothing! Are there not millions of people in the world today with this disposition of mind?
Indifference and unconcern is another great blinder of the mind. This man does not care what he gospel is or is not. Like Pontius Pilate he asks, "What is truth?" It is too time-consuming and too much trouble for some to think, to stretch their minds, to search the scriptures and investigate. They have no interest in a process so troublesome. In the words of Jesus they reject the invitation of the gospel; they have to attend to their business, another has more interesting things to do with his time. Thus man abides in the blackest darkness because it is too much trouble to open the shutters and draw up the blinds and let the light of Christ light up his life.
In addition the light of the gospel is shut out of the mind by falsehood and false teachers of all kinds. I cannot speak of the great list of false teachings that have beset the Christian religion at the present hour, for that list has grown too long to consider in this study. Falsehoods we have heard when we were children are now refashioned and presented as advanced ideas. When any of these false religious teachings that disagree with what the apostles of Christ taught are permitted to occupy the minds, as they are nowadays, the old gospel is no longer seen or obeyed. Can it be that the plan of salvation by which people became Christians and saved souls in the days of the apostles, cannot save people today? Can people be saved today in a different way that the apostles saved people 2,000 years ago? Can it be that what was true over 2,000 years ago is not true today? In the days of the apostles when people believed that Jesus was a Deity who came from heaven, and as penitent believers were immersed in water, all their past sins were washed away in the blood of Christ. This was was the new birth and a new creation. They were reconciled to God and He adopted them into His spiritual family. Can it be that this is no longer true today?
Another thing that darkens the mind more than any other is the love sin. Sin is simply the transgression of God's word and God's laws. Sin is disobedience to God. Nine times out of ten sin is the cataract that darkens the eyes of the understanding. When people reject and transgress the laws of Christ, they tolerate immoral conduct and give acceptance to immoral customs of the world. O, may the Holy Spirit, through the written word of God, wash the filth out of our eyes that we may walk in the light as God is in the light. The last darkener of the soul's eye to be mentioned is pride. When man admires himself he never adores God. Someone said, "Mammon repays its worshipers with blinded eyes." May God save us from having our eyes injured by any of the cataracts and blinders suggested in this study. Christ has shocked the world again by revealing there is a blindness that afflicts human beings that physicians, philosophers, scientists and the worldly learned have never discovered. He has revealed that the greater part of the human race is blinded and cannot see afar off. In their blindness they cannot see the Creator God of the Bible, and they hope of eternal life He has offered to the human race. He has revealed there are things the understanding can see and know that physical eyes cannot see. I conclude our study with the words of the apostle John to all true Christians about the true relationship that exists between Christians and God: "If we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." I John 1:6,7.*
*Some of the thoughts in this message were taken from a sermon preached by C.H. Spurgeon who preached in England in the 19th century.-----Lonnie Branam