Luke 11:33-36 (ESV)
33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Jesus just taught the growing crowd around him that their continual need for another sign was evil. He reminded them that they had received the same message Jonah brought to the ungodly people of Ninevah, which was the call to repent. And the Ninevites did! The record of those in the Old Testament who positively responded to God’s messengers was a sign against this crowd’s continued unbelief. Then Jesus added that no one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where the light cannot be seen. Light symbolizes illumination and guidance. The Psalmist refers to God’s word as “a lamp to his feet” and “a light to his path.” In this section of Luke, Jesus repeatedly taught the crowd that they needed to not only hear but also respond to his teaching. The teaching and preaching of Jesus created the light to which he referred. It was not hidden. On the contrary, his work was done in the open, and his message was proclaimed in public. If one failed to respond properly, it certainly wasn’t because he had no access to the light. And if an individual’s eye were healthy, he would take the light in and process it rightly. If the eye were bad or marred by evil, he would not respond rightly to the light. It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t suggest we have any “inner light.” Instead, he is the ultimate source of light for the world.
Jesus warned those around him to “be careful lest the light in you be darkness.” They were to be sure they were taking in the light of truth and not the darkness of false teaching, so that they would be spiritually healthy. Jesus concluded by saying that if one has responded properly to the light and is spiritually healthy, she becomes a reflection of his light for others. The disciple is not the source of light, but she allows the light of Christ to work through her. When we respond rightly to the light of Jesus’ teaching, it demonstrates that our spiritual eyes are healthy, and we have his revelation to help us make day-to-day decisions in life. At the same time, we can be light to others and help them to also respond rightly to the true light of God’s word. Let’s determine today to obey the teaching of Jesus and reject any messages that contradict what he has revealed in his word.