“When your eyes are good,” says Jesus in this morning’s verses from Luke’s Gospel, “your whole body is also full of light.”
One of our Lord’s Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount was: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” We see things not so much with our eyes – but through our eyes and with our heart. This explains why most little boys think their mothers are prettier than Miss America. They see their moms through their eyes and with their hearts.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” It’s as though we were sitting in a dark room, surrounded with all kinds of wonderful things. But we don’t see them. We don’t know they are there. We can’t enjoy them — until the Holy Spirit flips on the light.
When God enlightens the eyes of our hearts, we see the hope to which God has called us, says Paul, the sure and certain hope that when we lay down our head on the pillow one last time, the angels will carry our souls home, and on the last day, the voice of Jesus will call once more for the work of His hands and reunite our risen bodies with our souls forever in heaven.
When God enlightens the eyes of our hearts, we see what spiritual billionaires we are in Christ. We see what Paul calls “the riches of His glorious inheritance.” We are the real “rich kids,” the baptized sons and daughters of the King. Our inheritance in heaven is waiting for us.
When God enlightens the eyes of our hearts, we see what kind of power it took to make Christians out of us – the same power it took, says Paul, to call Christ out of His grave on Easter morning. This Christ now sits far above all earthly power with all things under His feet. Anybody who messes with you and me must now deal with Him.
How different are the eyes of faith from the eyes of unbelief! Faith sees God’s strength in a thunderstorm. Unbelief sees only broken branches. Faith sees God’s love in a newborn baby. Unbelief sees only another mouth to feed. Faith sees God’s purposes even in pain. Unbelief sees only a reason to blame God. Faith sees life as a journey home to God. Unbelief sees a person’s few short years as the good, the bad and the pointless. Faith sees the handwriting of God on the pages of Scripture. Unbelief sees one more pious myth. Faith sees sins washed away in the gospel waters of Baptism. Unbelief sees mere religious ritual. Faith sees the body and blood of Christ in bits of bread and sips of wine. Unbelief sees nothing. Faith sees God in a crib at Bethlehem and on a cross at Calvary. Unbelief sees an unfortunate prophet who ran afoul of the authorities. Faith sees a Savior virgin-born, crucified, dead, buried, risen, ascended – the forgiveness of sins, an invisible kingdom of believing hearts, the hand of God in the darkest valleys, and the angels of God standing guard around our beds. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus!