Matthew 6:22-23 reads, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness” (NKJV).

In order to understand the analogy of “the eye” we need to read what the Lord had just taught in verses 19-21: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The Lord is teaching us that believers are to have their heart set upon one thing: laying up treasures in heaven; in other words, we should be “heavenly minded.” The apostle Paul taught this very same thing in Colossians 3:1-2, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind ON THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth.” If we do set our hearts and minds on earthly things we will be sorely disappointed, for earthly things eventually rust or are stolen, and we will miss out on the “heavenly rewards” that are preserved for us in the glory.

The Lord then uses the analogy of the human eye to drive this lesson home. The “eye” is called the “lamp of the body” for it is through the eye that a body receives light resulting in being able to see. If the eye is good (able to receive light), one will have good sight. This speaks of a believer whose heart is good, who receives the teachings of Christ into his heart and applies them to his life. In this case, he “lays up treasures in heaven instead of on earth.” His whole LIFE (pictured by “the body”) then will be “full of light,” for he will have spiritual discernment that leads to an abundant life that yields eternal benefits.

If the eye is bad (unable to receive light), one’s vision will be impaired. This speaks of a believer whose heart is NOT good, and instead of taking Christ’s words in their hearts and living according to His teachings, he tries to live for “both worlds.” He wants “treasures in heaven,” but he also covets “earthly treasures,” resulting in his life being “full of darkness.” He will lack spiritual discernment and he won’t experience the abundant life that Christ desires him to have. And at the end of this life, there will be little or no rewards waiting for him when he does arrive in heaven. (287.1) (DO)