Monday, April 5, 2010
In Luke 11:29-36 Jesus rebukes his contemporaries for looking for a sign from him when Gentiles of past generations were impressed with less than what Jesus was displaying in his day. Then Jesus goes on to explain that if your eye is in good shape then the rest of you will be illuminated but if it is in bad shape then the rest of you is in darkness.
Physically we can see how this is true. If our eyes are good then we have enough light to operate our entire body effectively. But if we are blind, no matter how much light beats on the rest of our body it isn't going to help us. Jesus asserts that this is true spiritually as well. If our spiritual vision is right, then we will walk wisely, and if not then we won't.
But how does one's spiritual vision get right? This is where his teaching ties back to the previous rebuke. The Queen of Sheba lived well because she saw Solomon's wisdom. The men of Nineveh lived well because they saw the truth in Jonah's call to repentance. Both could see everything well because they were looking at the word of God that they had and saw it for what it was.
Jesus, the Eternal Word, is wisdom and truth. If we look unceasingly at him and recognize him for who he is, then everything else becomes clear. If we take our eyes off him and turn toward other things, then we don't see anything, including the truth about Jesus himself. It is as if as long as Jesus is in the center of our mind's eye, everything in our mind's peripheral vision becomes visible. When Jesus leaves the center, then even what we focus on (riches, relationships, ambition, desire, suffering, anxiety, doing good) we can't really see.