Monday, August 3, 2015

The Lamp of the Body

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (Luke 11:33-36 NIV)

Jesus transitioned from His discussion about signs to a discussion about light. Matthew Henry includes these verses as part of the section concerning signs. At first glance, the two passages seem discordant, but, on closer inspection, they are not.

The "sign of the Son of Man", the resurrection of Jesus, would be the only sign they would be given, He told the crowds. It would be the sign that made the truth about Him clear. His truth, then, is like a lamp that gives illumination to those who are uncertain. 

The word translated as lamp is lychnos and indicates a small, hand-held oil lamp like the one in the photo above. The lamp gives just enough light for the one holding it to see the next step or two. The word translated as "lights" (as in "lights the lamp") is haptō and is a word that indicates "fastening" or adhering the flame to the lamp.  

This idea of adhering the light of Christ (hapto) has been discussed in previous posts and you can read them: here and also here.

Jesus reminded his listeners that a lamp, once lit, is placed on a lampstand to provide lamp to all within the room. In that same way, the light of Christ, His truth, has not been hidden away. It is not obscure or so difficult that it cannot be understood. His light is available for all who will have it. 

We will consider allowing the light to fill our lives tomorrow, but for today, let's focus on our desire to have the light. Do we want the truth of Christ to fill our being? Are we willing to allow Him to illuminate every corner of our lives with His truth? If we are honest, there are times when we'd rather snuggle into a little darkness. It is when we allow the light into every area of our lives, dispelling the darkness, that we find joy infusing our being. Our temptation is to embrace the darkness, at least in part, but our call is to the light. It is a struggle, and one we will battle until we enter eternity, but it is a struggle we must win.

We must have the light of Christ, for it is only through His light that the cold darkness in our soul can be replaced with the warmth of His love. For today, let us choose the light of Christ, His truth, and pray that those we love will choose His light for their lives, as well.