The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. Matthew 6:22
In the Sermon on the Mount, we have seen that it is God’s intention for the church to be radically distinct from the world. In order for that to happen, we need a pure devotion to Jesus Christ and a firm resolve to live for Him.
Jesus, as He continued to unfold the revolutionary nature of a true believer, called His followers to unwavering devotion. In doing so, He used somewhat cryptic language: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light” (6:22).
To understand exactly what Jesus was saying here, we need to notice that this statement, along with its contrast in verse 23, falls between “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth” (6:19) and “You cannot serve God and mammon” (6:24). Jesus was showing the necessity of pure devotion to the Lord.
The good eye, or the single eye, represents those who view and understand and live life through the lens of God’s Word. The Greek word for “good” could be translated “single,” “pure,” or “unclouded.” The idea is that of having a pure, undefiled, totally devoted life to Christ. John closely parallels Jesus’ words: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him” (1 John 2:15). Jesus was calling us to a pure devotion, pure in the sense of unmixed or undiluted, like pure spring water with nothing mixed into it. Our hearts are to be set on Him and Him alone.
When our “eye is single,” i.e. when our hearts are set solely upon Him, He promised, “Your whole body will be full of light.” That light will emanate from our lives.
Light Shines Bright in Darkness
We can apply this beyond our individual selves to the church (the body) collectively. As God’s people, when His church has a single eye, what will happen? As Jesus said earlier, “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (5:14). As we walk in the light and live in the light, that light will shine forth from us as we collectively gather.
When the light shines brightly in the darkness—when the contrast between the church and the world is clear and evident—people will be attracted. And they will come out of the darkness and into the light.
This week, fix your eyes on Jesus, and let nothing pull you away from Him. Make Him your priority. Your whole body will be full of light, and it will shine brightly in a darkening world.