Matthew 6:21-24

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:21-24

Jesus tells us that “the eye is the lamp of the body” here in the context of challenging us for our fascination with, and over-investment in, worldly wealth. It is a powerful metaphor.

Our eyes are windows into our consciousness. Thus, it isn’t only about WHAT we see but also about HOW we see what we see. Our eyes can take us to healthy or unhealthy places. They can bring light – knowledge, insight, awareness – or they can take us into darkness – ignorance, gullibility, deception. The stakes here are very high and the consequences real.

As a culture, we are currently experiencing the very high and very real consequences of an inability to clearly see reality. Consider “reality TV.” There is nothing real about reality TV. The subjects are chosen to capture our attention. Voyeurism and car wrecks are like brain crack. We can’t turn away. The drama is staged. The events choreographed. Why do we fall for it?

Because it is expensive to produce television shows, someone had a great idea, “Let’s make a fake show where we don’t have to pay the actors a lot of money unless it becomes a hit. And let’s make sure that we focus on money, wealth, sex, and violence because people eat that stuff up!” The next thing you know, Paris Hilton and the Kardashian family are household names and Donald Trump is elected President.

These cultural spin doctors understand that “perception is reality” so they spin our perceptions. Soon we are battling with each other about the new concept of “fake news.” The veil is lifted and we are confronted with a new reality – everything really is about market share and advertising dollars and name recognition and “all press is good press.”

The darkness descends.

When Jesus tells us to pay attention to WHAT we see and HOW we see it he is inviting us into a deeper level of reflection than our knee jerk reactivity or surrender to our long unexamined assumptions.

He is inviting us to be more thoughtful about the real consequences of our idolatry, of our chasing the gods who are not God. For he knows, and somewhere deep inside, we do too. To just close our eyes is to live in darkness. To open our eyes holds the possibility of finding a ray of light to guide us.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, open our eyes, that we might more clearly see. That we might see the splinters which blind us. That we might seek first to understand. That we might come to a place where we discern the difference between perception and reality. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


4 Responses to “Matthew 6:21-24”

  1. Dave Armstrong Says:

    I don’t know how you do it, but these devotions just keep on getting better. I shared this one with my group of friends.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    A very timely thought! I am definitey sharing this one. Thanks.
    Marilyn Pickard

  3. Georgene Says:

    I am so glad you are back. Your devotions enrich my life.

  4. Carolee Groux Says:

    1 Corinthians 16: 13 – 14 “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

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