A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
SERVING GOD WITH PURE MOTIVES
Our Lord introduces an important parable in the sermon on the Mount. This parable is put between two indispensable messages from Christ. First, “lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The second, “No man can serve two masters. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The two messages are clear. On one hand, fix your heart on heaven; have eternity in view; set your affections on things in heaven, not on things on earth. On the other hand, love God supremely and serve Him without any distraction; let Him be the only Lord and Master of your life and do all things with God’s glory as your goal. Let nothing compete with seeking His glory in anything and everything you do.
The parable in verses 22 and 23 further explains these messages. The illustration of the eye in relation to the body is used. There are two kinds of eyes - a single eye, meaning a sound, healthy eye and an evil eye, meaning a diseased, dim, darkened eye. The single, sound, healthy eye gives light to the body, helping a believer to move in line with God’s will and towards heaven. The evil, dark eye cannot see the eternal future, making a sinner to walk in darkness, which will ultimately lead to eternal damnation. The “evil eye” speaks of a heart, mind or conscience darkened by sin, self and Satan. The actions and motives of the “body” directed by an “evil eye” will be sinful, self-centred and Satan-controlled.
PROPER MEANING OF SYMBOLIC EYE AND BODY
Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34-36; Psalm 36:9; Proverbs 20:27; Ephesians 1:18; Revelation 3:18; Proverbs 22:9; Romans 2:15; 2 Corinthians 1:12; Acts 24:16.
“The eye” and “the body” are used as figures of speech. What light is to the world the eye is to the body. Without the light of the sun, there will be total darkness: positive, productive activities on earth will be impossible. The activities of the body are directed according to the light which is received through the eye.
The body represents the sum of all our actions and activities. The members of the body (brain, mind, tongue, hands, legs, etc) produce actions which result in “life” in general. These actions are possible when we have the light of the day. The eye receives the light and through that light, the activities of the body are directed. The heart, spirit, conscience, desire, intention and motive direct our moral and spiritual actions. When the heart receives the light of God, the light of His Word, the light of the Sun of righteousness, the eye is single, sound or healthy, and the corresponding actions are acceptable to God.
“Thine eye shall be single.” The word “single” here means sound, wholesome, healthy. The single or sound eye refers to purity of intention or selflessness in our motives. With purity of motive and affection, our actions or body of activities will be full of light. With selfishness in our motive and insincerity in our intention, we are termed to have an “evil eye” and our actions will be works of darkness.
PURE MOTIVES OF SINGLE-MINDED BELIEVERS
Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34-36; Ephesians 6:5-7; Colossians 3:22-24; Acts 2:46; 1 Corinthians 10:31-33; Galatians 1:10; Philippians 2:5-8; John 5:30; Philippians 2:14-16,19-22.
“If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” When the eye is single, sound and healthy, vision will be clear and plain. If the eye is not sound or healthy, everything is dim or dark. The eye regulates the motion and direction of the body. Walking through this world, it is important to fix our “eye”, heart and affection on God and heaven. Our conduct will be steadily righteous and acceptable to God when our motives are pure and we seek only the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Having the eye of faith single and unwavering, setting affection on things above, not on things on the earth, fixing our face like a flint on the glory of God will make our actions to be approved of God as done in the light. “The whole body shall be full of light.” Then shall we be walking in the light, “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” All that is needful to direct the soul and conduct is that the eye of faith be fixed on heaven. Our motives must be pure and focused on God’s glory for our lives to be holy and acceptable to Him.
PERVERTED MINDS WITH SELF-CENTRED BEHAVIOUR
Matthew 6:23; Deuteronomy 15:9; Proverbs 28:22; 23:6-8; Matthew 20:10-15; Mark 7:20-23; John 12:40; Luke 11:34-36; Ephesians 4:17-24; Hebrews 3:12-14.
“But if thine eye be evil.” The evil eye refers to self-centredness (Deuteronomy 15:9), covetousness (Proverbs 28:22), insincerity (Proverbs 23:6,7), critical spirit (Matthew 20:10-15), sinful intention, selfish desires and self-centred motives (Mark 7:21-23). If the eye of the heart, desire, motive and intention are focused on self satisfaction or praise of men, the corresponding actions will be in darkness.
If our hearts receive not the light of God’s Word, if our conscience are darkened and unenlightened, if our motives and thoughts are impure, selfish and sinful, our conduct, character and behaviour will be works of darkness. We shall be condemned by God and shall be punished in everlasting darkness, eternally separated from God and from the light of His countenance.
We need single-mindedness - a single eye, pure motive, pure mind and affection completely fixed on God and His glory. Then shall we walk, moment by moment, in His light as we prepare to live in the eternal light of glory with God.
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