Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Purpose of the Light Within


The Purpose of the Light Within

 

No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. 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.”– Luke 11:33-36


I watched an unusual game show last night on the SyFy network called “Total Blackout”.  The show is based on the contestants undergoing challenges that are fear-factor like in total darkness.  They had to pick up various objects from one tank of water and carry those objects across the room to another tank and drop them in.  It’s hilarious to watch a grown woman let her imagination go wild over a water saturated teddy bear!  And it made my nerves crawl to see them pick up a LONG snake, and have to carry it across the room and put it in the tank!  But when you’re in the dark, your mind can play tricks on you, and you can imagine things to be true that aren’t. 
In Luke 11 Jesus talks about light and lamps.  He specifically talks about the lamp of the body.  He says that no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket.  Light is meant to be used, shared, and to illuminate everything that it touches. 

He goes on to say that the lamp is part of the body – specifically, the eye.  He explains that you can have a good eye, or an evil eye.  A good eye will cause your entire body to be full of light, but a bad eye will bring total darkness to your body.  He goes on to say that if your whole body is full of light, nothing is dark, and the lamp gives you light.
So what does this mean?  We know that the eye is not literally a lamp, and we know Jesus doesn’t want us to go around with matches setting our eyes on fire to bring light into our bodies!  We have to dig a little deeper to understand these scriptures. 

The light is Jesus.  In John 8:11 Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” And if Jesus is light, what is darkness?  Darkness is not simply the opposite of light (Jesus), but is the absence of light.  Therefore, darkness is life without Jesus.  Ephesians 5:8-11 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Salvation brings light into us – Jesus Holy Spirit into our dark bodies.  That light shines on all we do and changes it into good, which is the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in the verses.  It also causes us to expose or illuminate those things that are works of darkness in our lives and the lives of others.
The eye is not a physical eye, but a spiritual one.  If the spirit that is in you is good, then you have light within you.  But if it’s bad, you have darkness.  Matthew 18:9 speaks of the evil eye as well and says, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.  Certainly having a corrupt eye cannot send you to hell.  That’s contrary to the gospel of Christ.  But having a corrupt spirit, having not been saved and filled with His Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of salvation, will send you to hell. 

The spiritual eye is meant for discernment.  It should be used to shine light on what is good and on what is bad, to provide wisdom to live as the holy ones we are called to be. 
If we then read Luke 11:33-36 again, knowing what we do now about the poetry used in expressing this thought, we read it as saying,  

“No one, when he has CHRIST, puts HIM in a secret place or under a basket, but DISPLAYS HIM, that those who come in may see HIM. HIS SPIRIT is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is HIS SPIRIT, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye NOT HIS SPIRIT, your body also is full of darkness.  Therefore take heed that the SPIRIT which is in you is HIS.  If then your whole body is full HIM, having no part WITH EVIL, the whole body will be full of HIM, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

Just as the contestants on the game show “Total Blackout” let their minds play tricks on them because they were in darkness, we sometimes do the same thing.  We allow ourselves to accept sinful things in our lives without shining a light on them to see them as they really are.  Getting rid of those pieces of darkness that lurk within allows the lampshade to come off for all the see Christ in us.
Jesus is calling us to know that we are His, and to use His Holy Spirit to discern the good and bad that we do, and to continually cast out the bad.  We are justified through faith, but we are to be sanctified, set apart for holy service, to God.    

Salvation will get you to Heaven.  But sanctification will give you rewards when you get there. Let your light shine on everything around you.  Seek to destroy the darkness. 

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