“No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see its light. Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness. Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, the whole body will be full of light, as when a lamp shines its light on you.” – Luke 11:33-36 (HCSB)
Why does Christ focus on the eye in this passage? It has always read a bit strange to me. If our eye is the lamp, how do we control the amount of light we give off? For most of us, our eyes are on the front lines of everything we experience. As we weave in and out of our daily lives, it is the eye that receives much of our input and triggers reactions in the brain. Those triggers store images and feelings and launch reactions. The things we see will affect everything we are. If we allow our eyes to constantly look upon sinful things, our light will dim; as we look only on things that darken our light, we ourselves will be darkened. If we rather train our eyes to only look on good and holy things, the light of those things will enhance our own light. The things we take in directly affect our ability to reflect God (the light) to others. Therefore, the things we allow ourselves to be exposed to become of the utmost importance. If we are constantly exposed to light, then the inevitable exposure to anything dark will immediately be drowned out by the light, and the same light will reveal a path around the darkness. Since exposure to sin is virtually guaranteed in our dark world, we must be very careful and certain to only look upon light things whenever we have a choice. This will protect us when we must navigate the darkness.