By Richard Lim
Several days ago I had some problems with my eyes. They were very itchy and I had to rub them very often to relieve the itchiness. I was able to overcome it after consulting the ophthalmologist who gave me some eye drops for allergy. Our eyes are important organs in our physical bodies. It is the organ that will direct our paths and gives light in order for us to see things. Through them, we can appreciate the beauty of things that God has created. The question for us today is do we have healthy eyes? Of course, I do not mean in the physical sense but spiritual.
The Bible uses the physical organs to teach us spiritual lessons that we may understand. For example, Jesus says in Matthew 6:22-23: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” We can have either good eyes or bad eyes according to Jesus.
The apostle Peter tells us that if we do not grow in our faith as a Christian, we are considered to be “shortsighted, even to blindness.” In 2 Peter 1:5-11 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
We need to be careful not to have bad eyes or evil eyes. King David sinned against God because he had an adulterous eye in 2 Samuel 11:1-2. “It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.” Here we see that David had evil eyes of adultery at this time and then he tried to finds ways to cover up his sin by trying to get Uriah to go to his wife but he would not. As the story went, he even tried to get him drunk so that he may go to his wife but he still didn’t. Then David sent him back to the hardest part of the battle and told his men to draw back and allow him to be killed. Then David took Bathsheba for his wife. Of course this sin did not go unpunished as God told David that his new baby would die.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount mentioned about adulterous eyes, Matthew 5:27: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” We should learn from the example of David that we do not develop an adulterous eye.
Another type of evil eye that we need to be careful of is an envious eye. King Saul had an envious eye, 1 Samuel 18:7-8: “So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.” Saul became envious of David because he had killed so many and people were recognizing him for it. Do you have this kind of eye? Do you envy people and wish that you were them? Notice what the book of Proverbs teaches about envy:
Proverbs 14:30: “A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.”
Proverbs 23:17: “Do not let your heart envy sinners, Butbe zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day.”
Being envious will lead to sin according to James 3:16: “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
The third kind of evil eye that we shouldn’t have is a hypocritical eye. It’s easy to be critical of others. So many today like to find small things that they can pick out of a person that they don’t like and then they will ride on it until they break them. We often see this in politics where they will criticize anything they can to try to make themselves look better. Unfortunately Christians are guilty of this as well. The Pharisees of Jesus’s days were like that, too. Jesus mentioned about this type of eye, Matthew 7:3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5″Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Instead of loving someone and trying to encourage them, they will talk evil of that person and point out all of their weak points even when that person saying these things may have the exact same weaknesses. We must be careful not to have critical eyes as this will only cause problems and will stunt the growth of the church. James warns us in James 4:11-12: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”
We need to have good eyes or healthy eyes. We need to strive to have eyes full of compassion. Having compassionate eyes means that if you see someone hurting or in need, you feel for that person and will try to do what you can to help them out. Jesus certainly had compassion on the multitudes of people that were sick and diseased and helped them. Matthew 9:36: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Again in Matthew 14:14: “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Since Him being our master has left us an example, thus we are to follow in His footsteps by showing compassion for those around us. The Christians were encouraged to show compassion to one another in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another.”
The second type of good eyes that is necessary to have would be faithful eyes. To have faithful eyes means that even though we can’t actually physically see the evidence, yet we believe based on God’s word. No one has seen God physically yet we believe that He exists because we see the works of God shown to us through His creation (Rom. 1:18-24). In Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” and Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” So we see here that if we want to have the kind of eyes that are pleasing God, we must have faithful eyes. Abraham even though he could not see what the future holds, yet he obeyed God when he was told to go into another country. Hebrews 11:8-1: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
After all the different heroes of faith were mentioned, the Hebrew writer concludes by saying Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Finally, we need to have open eyes. Jesus in teaching the people when using parables said in Matthew 13:14-15: “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, Andseeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’”
Many of the Pharisees during that time had this problem as they did not want to see the truth because they wanted to live in their own truth. A lot of people are like this today. They don’t want to see what the word of God says. Instead they want to live by the philosophy, “if it feels good, it’s got to be right.” Notice what Jesus goes on to say about those who don’t close their eyes to the truth.
Matthew 13:16-17: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” A person with open eyes is not stuck in their ways and is willing to consider what God’s word says. This type of person is one who does not say I know it all and nothing you can say will ever change my mind. We have a biblical example of those who had open eyes in the New Testament.
Acts 17:10-12: “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”
Let us be like the Bereans and keep an open mind and test everything against what the Bible says.