43 Luke 11.33-36
How’s your eyesight?
v Re-Orient us…
Ø Jesus is teaching a crowd after he casts out a mute demon from a man
§ Jesus is slandered by some in the hard-hearted crowd
· “By Beelzebub he casts out demons”
§ He responds to their slander
· “A house divided will fall”
§ He is tested by some in the hard-hearted crowd
· “Give us a sign”
§ He then gives them the sign to look for…
· Sign of Jonah
¨ He has answered their stubborn hearts by shedding light
v Our text today gives the conclusion to this interchange
Uses metaphor of lamp in 2 ways…
v V. 33 ~ Jesus’ teaching is like lamp
Ø Many people apply this verse improperly…
§ We are to be lights for Jesus that are not to be hidden
· And while that is true, that is not what this text is saying
¨ That is the meaning of Luke 8:16ff, Matt 5:14-16
Ø This text is about the receptivity of the Gospel light
v Here the lamp / light metaphor is not us, but his teaching
Ø Jesus’ likens his teaching to a lamp that is lit in 2 ways:
§ In Purpose
· Jesus’ teaching should not be hidden
¨ No one lights a lamp (teaches) and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl…
Ø The purpose of any teaching is to illuminate the mind
§ The purpose of Jesus’ teaching is to illumine the mind spiritually
· John 1:1-4
¨ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
§ Jesus’ teaching is the light of men
· The light of his teaching should never be concealed
¨ Always in the open
¨ Always offered
¨ Always on top of the table, never underneath
¨ Always at full disclosure
Ø I find it very interesting that the cults do not use broadcast TV like Christianity does
§ Teaching of Jesus is out in the open
§ Nothing to hide
§ Letting the light of his teaching shine
· Interesting that Mormons & Jehovah Witnesses have not utilized this medium
¨ Because their teachings are not out in the light
§ Matter of fact, all cults are built around secrecy
· Jehovah’s Witnesses closed services
¨ No windows in sanctuary
¨ Gain secret knowledge as you climb the ranks
· But not Christianity!
¨ There is nothing that Billy Graham knows that you and I do not
¨ There is nothing that John Stott knows that you and I do not
¨ There is nothing that D. James Kennedy knows that you and I do not
§ There are always those who want to put the light of Jesus’ teaching under a bowl
· Create a secrecy within Christianity
¨ Been there from the beginning of the church
Ø Secret knowledge or gnosticism is what Paul was combating in the Colossian church
§ Col 1:21-23
· Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Ø This is the Gospel…That’s it
§ Nothing hidden about it!
§ There will always be those who want to hide Jesus’ teaching under a bowl
· But Jesus’ teaching is like a lamp
¨ And the purpose of a lamp is to illuminate
Ø Jesus’ teaching is like a lamp in another way…
§ In Effect
· The effect of a Lamp is to make what is in darkness known
William Wimmer writes…
On a warm, summer night, my wife and I were traveling in our car with Micah, our three-year-old son, who sat in the back seat. After many miles of driving in the darkness, we came to a stop in a remote area. The brightness of the traffic light revealed all of the dirt, dead bugs, and insects on our windshield. Micah said, "Look, how dirty!"
My wife and I didn't think much of his comment until a moment later when we drove away from the light and back into the darkness. Upon re-entering the darkness, we could no longer see the mess on our windshield, and Micah quickly piped up and said, "Look, the glass is clean!"
Before the light of the gospel comes, the dirt within us is hidden in the darkness. But when the light of Jesus’ teaching shines on the windshield of our hearts, it reveals the filth of sin we'd collected on our journey. Jesus’ teaching, then, is the light that shows us how sinful we really are.
v In this interchange with the hard-hearted crowd
Ø Jesus has just turned on the lamp
§ He has just shed an amazing amount of light on the windshields of their hearts
· And so he turns to them and in effect says…
¨ How’s your eyesight?
Ø Do you see the dirt?
RE-READ v. 34 ~ Changes metaphor to eyes being “lamp of body”
v The eye is an amazing organ
Ø The eye muscles are the most active muscles in the whole body
Ø Eyes are composed of more than two million working parts
Ø Eyes can instantaneously set in motion hundreds of muscles and organs in your body
Ø The eye is the only part of the human body that can function at 100% ability at any moment, day or night
Ø The external muscles that move the eyes are the strongest muscles in the human body for the job that they have to do.
§ They are 100 times more powerful than they need be.
Ø The eye can process 10 bits of information per second
§ 36,000 bits every hour
Ø In a normal life-span, the eye will bring in almost 24 million images of the world around you
Ø The eyes are the primary way people interface with the world
v Since the primary way people perceive the world is through the eyes
Ø All Jesus is saying here is…
§ How is your eyesight toward the Gospel?
§ Are you seeing the light that I am shedding?
§ Are you allowing the light of my teaching into your hearts?
· Or…like many in the crowd
¨ Are you stubbornly keeping it out and remaining in the dark
Ø Notice there is no automatic interior light
§ Light must be received
· That is what the corpus of the Scriptures teach us
¨ Man is not intrinsically good, but evil
Ø That is the Doctrine of the Depravity
§ It might be easier to believe that people are basically good
· That is what we are spoon-fed in our culture
¨ But the Bible teaches us that man’s heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jer 17:9)
Every baby starts life like a little savage, completely egotistic and self-centered. Babies want what they want, when they want it, be it a bottle, mother's attention, or a dry diaper. Deny a baby these "wants" and he or she is seized with rage. Babies have no morals, no knowledge, no skills for survival. All children, not just certain children, are potential delinquents!
If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of their infancy, where they gave free rein to every impulse and had every want instantly gratified, all children would grow up in that mold of depravity. That is the stuff out of which are made criminals, killers, and rapists.
§ We might not like to hear that
· But it does not make it any less true
v What Jesus is saying here is…
Ø If you do not want to grow up in the mold of depravity…
§ Accept my teaching!
· Allow the light to enter your eyes!
Ø If you accept my teaching
§ i.e., if your eyes are good
· The entire body will be illuminated
Ø If you reject my teaching
§ i.e., if your eyes are bad
· The person will be full of darkness
Ø Biblically, there are 2 reasons for spiritual darkness:
· Dark because they have never been exposed to the light of Jesus’ teaching
¨ That is what our great commissioning is supposed to deal with
Ø Matt 28:18-20
· These are the people that have heard the light of Christ’s teaching
¨ Yet reject it!
· They are dark because they refuse to accept Jesus’ teaching
¨ This is the darkness that Jesus is identifying here
Ø This is the darkness that many in the crowd have
§ And he places the responsibility for receiving the light squarely on the recipients
· V. 35 ~ See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness
¨ It is up to you to respond to the call of Jesus
· That is why there will be a day of judgment when Christ comes again
¨ There could be no judgment without responsibility
Ø Varying degrees of responsibility
§ “Nature” level ~ Romans 1:20
· People who have never heard, but nature proclaims
§ “Normal” level ~ Matthew 19:16ff (Rich Young Ruler)
· The crowd here as well
¨ People who hear and reject
¨ John 1:5 ~ The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it
§ “Knower” level ~ Luke 11:37ff
· Pharisees, teachers, experts in the Law
¨ “Woe to you…”
· Proverbs 21:4
¨ Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!
· John 1:11
¨ He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him
Ø To all 3 of these levels of responsibility Jesus says…
§ V. 35 ~ See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness
Ø Lest you think that we who have accepted the light are off the hook
§ Read V. 36!
· Christ asks his adopted children as well, How’s your eyesight?
¨ Are you letting the light shine in all the nooks and crannies of your heart
Ø We have a responsibility to see to it that no part of our body, our heart, our soul is dark!
§ A high expectation for sure!
· How do we do that?
Ø Be in the Word
§ Josh 1:8
· Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it
¨ “Essential 100 Challenge”
Ø Hide the word in your heart
§ Psalm 119:11
· I have hidden the word in my heart that I might not sin against you
¨ Harbinger Memorization verse
Ø Contemplate / Mediate on the Word
§ Psalm 23:1-2
· The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures
¨ Meditate by putting stress on different words
v So how is your eyesight today?
Ø Are your eyes good or bad?
Ø Do you feel an urgency to shed light in the dark places in your heart?
During the French revolution, some Christians were crammed into a dungeon where once a day for a few moments, as the sun stood at a particular angle, one of the prisoners who had a Bible would be hoisted on the others’ shoulders to a sunlit crack, where he would study the Scriptures. When the light dimmed, he would be lowered down and his friends would say, “Now tell us what you read while you were in the light.”
v Every time we open this book, we are hoisted into the light
Ø Study it with the urgency those brothers did crammed into that cell
§ And allow it’s light to illumine the dark ares within you
v You may remember that this sounds a lot like a previous text in Luke
Ø Go to Lk 8:16-18
§ Here the main idea is hiding our light
Ø Here Jesus puts it to the crowd saying…
§ How’s your eyesight?
§ It’s up to you
§ It is on your shoulders
§ The ball is in your court
· In other words…
¨ It is your responsibility whether you receive the light or remain in darkness
v Is your eyesight good or bad?
Ø Throughout Scripture we see example after example of bad eyes…
§ 2 Samuel 11 ~ David saw Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop
§ Josh 7:20ff ~ Achan’s sin
· When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them
Ø Perhaps the ultimate problem the eye has been responsible for…
§ Gen 3:6 ~ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it
Ø Not obscured
§ This is the main point of this text
§ But in plain sight
§ Jesus saying…
· You are obscuring the light
Ø Matt 15:3 ~ Traditions vs. truth
Ø Matt 23:23 ~
· To make that which is dark, light!
¨ The effect of light is that it makes darkness recede
· John Rankin:
¨ Wherever the light of the Gospel is, darkness recedes
Ø In other words…
§ Wherever Jesus’ teaching is
§ Wherever the word is present
· Darkness recedes
Ø Gen 27:1 ~ Jacob took advantage of Isaac’s blindness
§ Jacob fleeing
§ Jacob working for 21 years for Rachel
§ Jacob vs. Esau sibling rivalry
Ø Mother would always look into our eyes to see how we are doing