Luke 11:33-36 (NIV) “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 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 completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”
The people who belong to the kingdom are full of light. But it is not our own light. The brightest light of this world is darkness compared to the light of the kingdom. Jesus’ own light is the light of the kingdom, and the true light of the world, as well.
That truth lies behind Jesus’ statement in John 9:5: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” But it also lies behind Jesus statement to His followers in Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world.” Again, this light does not originate in our own spiritual vitality or holiness, but is derivative of Jesus’ spiritual vitality and holiness as He indwells His followers through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Just as Jesus did not hide His light under a basket, but let it shine conspicuously everywhere He went, so He calls on His followers to put their light on a lampstand to shine conspicuously. Jesus came to do away with the darkness by shining the light of God into the areas where it lives – and that is a huge function of His disciples as well.
For that reason, the followers of Jesus have two aspects of their lives that they must keep tabs on. The first is to ensure that the light within them does not get darkened by sin. Otherwise, there will be nothing within them that can shine, nothing in them that can fight the dark.
The others aspect is to ensure that there is nothing blocking the escape of the light. A “good eye” in Hebrew is a figure of speech that symbolizes a generous heart. A “bad eye” is a figure of speech symbolizing a stingy heart. Jesus’ point then is that a stingy heart will negate any light that exists in a person, but an open, generous heart will act like the clear glass of a lighthouse, allowing the light of God’s presence in our hearts to shine brightly.
Father, it is easy to remember that Jesus said that HE was the light of the world, but we forget that He identified US as the light of the world as well, as His light shines through our lives. Help me to make sure that no sin is allowed to dim Your light in me, and that no stinginess or lack of love is allowed to shutter the light inside, so that You can use me to light up all of the dark places around me. Amen.