“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (emphasis added)

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)

When I read these verses today in Matthew, I noticed a footnote saying that “healthy” and “unhealthy” referred to generosity, which makes sense considering the context of storing treasures in Heaven. Otherwise, verses 22 and 23 don’t “fit,” begging the question: “Why is Jesus suddenly talking about eye sight?” Consider what Jesus says after Matthew 6:23.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

Although the footnote told me that Jesus talked about generosity, I still didn’t quite understand the metaphor. However, if we read the King James translation of Matthew 6:23, it gives us insight.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (emphasis added).

Matthew 6:23 (KJV)

Instead of “unhealthy,” King James uses the term “evil” to describe eyes. We see something similar in Proverbs.

A person with an evil eye hurries after wealth And does not know that poverty will come upon him.

Proverbs 28:22 (NASB)

We see something similar to Proverbs 28:22 and Matthew 6:23 in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), specifically in verse 15.

Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’

Matthew 20:15 (NKJV)

Here’s where we find the connection between wealth and “evil eyes,” which reveals that Matthew 6:22-23 fit perfectly within the context of Jesus’ discussion about treasures in Heaven. Thus, we could interpret Matthew 6:23-24 like so:

If you can see the incredible wealth found in God’s grace, a heavenly treasure found in Christ, you will see that this type of treasure is infinitely more precious than material, worldly wealth. Thus, you are full of light. Matthew 6:23 (my “translation”).

If you value earthly wealth over heavenly wealth, your eyes are unhealthy, so even the things you think are worth something are worth nothing, so you’re walking in darkness. Therefore, you’re in bondage to those things and how great your bondage (deception) is. Matthew 6:24 (my “translation”).

Now, when we consider Matthew 6:24 in light (no pun intended) of how we perceive God’s riches versus worldly wealth, Matthew 6:23-24 make more sense. If we think about what it means to be a Christian and how we’re supposed to live our lives. Walking by the Spirit and not the flesh, we can see that only those who are saved and walk by the Spirit can discern true riches. Indeed, those who cannot see are lost and walking in darkness. 

Therefore, as Christians walking in the light, our lives should reflect how we see the world. Do we strive for heavenly things, or do we pursue material wealth?

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe you died on the cross and were buried, and God the Father raised you from the dead on the third day. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.