Matthew 6:22-23 — “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
I find the history search of this passage very intriguing. Today my focus is just on these two verses.
Are you familiar with the ancient Greek tradition of the “evil eye”?
While my wife and I were in Greece and Turkey, we saw a great deal of the token or symbol of the blue-and-white evil eye.
We were told that the wearing of the special evil eye charm (also called the mati) would ward of the curse of someone giving the evil eye.
I grew up with the saying of “stink eye.” The evil eye is a glare that has negative intentions, such as anger or jealousy. Where the person casting the evil eye with the intention of causing another person harm or unhappiness, the charm would ward off such things.
What one person calls a curse, another calls bad luck.
I share with you what I remember from a quote I heard from John Maxwell:
“What you see is what you get, see the best in others. (There’s basically two sides to every person.) We have a good side, full of ideals and hopes. And then we have another side, not so good where we fall short of our ideals. When you look at people — what you look for is what you’ll see. If I look for a person’s faults, I’ll find them. I’ll see the downside of that person. But if I look for the good, I find that. What you see is how you treat people. If you see the best in others, you’ll draw out the best in others. You’ll receive the best from others. If you see the worst in others, you’ll get the worst from others. If you see the best in others – you tend to bring out the best.”
Referring back to Matthew 6:22-23: The healthy eye can mean sincere or genuine. There are commentaries that mention the idea that Jesus was making a play on words, using a Jewish expression: A good eye was a generous one, while an evil one was a stingy one.
The basic idea of the healthy eye, for me, is the understanding that the “healthy eye” is based on the Greek phrase that refers to singleness of purpose.
“The eye is the lamp of the body,” by this interpretation, means the good spiritual eye is one that is generous and can perceive God and allows light into the “whole body.”
Ok, great! What does that mean?
For me, it’s the light of hope. We are called to share the light of hope.
Ephesians 5:8 — “For you were once darkness, but now you are the light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”