“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. 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. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 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.”
While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
Comment: Since the writers of the gospels were not fools and had a purpose in putting items together I suspect that the bit about light is written here as a lead in to his verbal stoush with the Pharisees, which is to follow. This is talking about both physical light and the light of understanding. The discussion concerning light runs like this, and it is a bit of an Oriental rather than a Western argument…..
- Light is meant to be revealing not hidden.
- The body doorway to light is the eye, which if not good keeps the body in ignorance.
- You need to make sure that your eyesight is good.
- If your sight is good, you’re able to see what is around you and you can play your part in sharing truth.
Now Jesus sits among the Pharisees who are supposed to be the leaders in Truth concerning the Jewish religion and matters relating to God. Presumably the Pharisee who asked him to dine with him had heard the gem taught above. It says ‘while he was speaking’…. Jesus I believe wants to stir the Pharisee(s) up so he doesn’t go through their religious washing before the meal. When He perceives their thinking, and it might seem a bit abrupt to us, Jesus challenges the Pharisee by saying ‘you’re over-concerned about the appearance of outward cleanliness and superficial matters. You like to be seen as having the appearance of a well tended grave plot but inside you’re like what’s inside a casket in the cemetery!’ (Please excuse my precis!) We will have to wait until tomorrow to see where this stirring of the pot leads!
Prayer: Teach me how to mix tact and honesty to the best advantage.