Friday, July 28, 2017

Lamp of the Body

Luke 11:33-36 is an interesting passage.

One meaning is that we must be careful about what we look at. If we fill our eyes with evil things, it can contaminate our entire being and living.

However that message does not seem to exhaust the meaning of the passage. The context of these words is that Jesus had just finished comparing the Queen of Sheba and the people of Nineveh with the current generation of his nation. The former sought wisdom and repented, but Jesus own people did not.

No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light (Luke 11:33).
The message of the lamp is a challenge to his nation. It was supposed to be a light to the nations, but that light had become dark hidden under a bowl of sin. In our time it is a challenge to the church, which is also supposed to be a light to the nations.

The church is a lamp that must not be hidden. It should be on display, so that people will come to see its light. What causes the church to be hidden?

The eyes are the lamp of the body.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness (Luke 11:33).
Jesus was referring back to the words of Isaiah the prophet.
Yahweh has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep,
and he has shut your eyes, the prophets,
and he has covered your heads, the seers (Is 29:10).
The prophets are the eyes of the church. The prophets are the eyes of the nation. If the prophets are doing their job, the church and the nation will be full of light. If the prophets are distracted or deceived, the church and the nation will be filled with darkness.

The Pharisees were like prophets in Jesus time. They claimed to know the right way, but they were filling their nation with darkness.

If there is darkness in the church and our nations today, it is because the prophets are not fulfilling their role.

See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you (Luke 11:35-36).
When the prophets are functioning, the body of Jesus will be full of light. People will also be drawn to its light.

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