When it comes to our time in the Word of God, we work our way through the books of Scripture, the revelation of God Himself, His very Word to us. And certainly, in particular, the passage today stands out, for it is the very words that fell from the lips of God incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are looking at Luke chapter 11, Luke chapter 11, verses 33 through 36, as we work our way through this wonderful, historical record of the life and teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you happen to have a red-letter Bible, you will notice as you flip ahead a few chapters that the coming material in Luke's gospel is dominated by the teaching of Jesus. And thus we are on the threshold, as it were, of rich, rich experience, hearing from the Lord Himself. This, of course, includes the passage before us. Let me read it to you, Luke 11, verses 33 through 36.
"No one after lighting a lamp puts it away in a cellar, nor under a peck measure, but on the lampstand in order that those who enter may see the light. The lamp of your body is your eye. When your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light. But when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you may not be darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light with no dark part in it, it shall be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays."
Well, while at first hearing that, its meaning may seem a little obscure, one thing is for sure, the subject is light. That is unmistakable. And that, for us who study the Bible, is a very familiar subject. If we think about it, the most dominant and consistent feature of life in this world is the reality of light and darkness. The world at all times is dominated both by light on one half and darkness on the other. This is the most universal experience that we have in this world, the experience of light and darkness. And because it is a universal experience, it provides the biblical writers and even the Lord Himself wonderful analogies which can be used to teach spiritual truth.
The universal experience of light and darkness in the physical world becomes for us a doorway into understanding light and darkness in the spiritual world. Now we speak in this kind of analogy all the time. We use these kinds of metaphors regularly in our speech. We might say something like, "I was listening and I didn't understand it and then the light went on." And you understand that light is a metaphor for understanding, for something that's clear and perceivable. Or you might be sitting in a class at the university and say to yourself, "I hear the words but I'm really in the dark as to what he's intending to communicate." You hear people say, "I used to be going one way in my life, but I have seen the light."
And because of the universality of this experience of light and darkness, we all understand without an explanation exactly what the metaphor's intending to communicate. The simple idea is this: Light reveals and darkness conceals. Absolute light reveals absolutely, and absolute darkness covers absolutely. In fact, the apostle Paul articulated this axiomatic, proverbial, self-evident reality in Ephesians 5:13. He said this: "All things become visible when they are exposed by the light." And so the apostle Paul following the example of Jesus, understood that the idea of light and darkness become wonderful tools for which to communicate, or by which to communicate spiritual truth. Light reveals; darkness conceals. That is why blindness is so limiting. Light is everywhere. A blind person can't perceive it. All that light, all that disclosure, all that revelation, and it's useless.
Well, it is exactly that that our Lord is addressing here. He is saying to these Jewish leaders: It's not a question of light; it's a question of sight. Light is everywhere. It's the sight that is the issue. The presence of light, unmistakable, the problem is sight. It is this very simple message that our Lord conveys here to us today. In fact, it's not the first time He used these words. It's not the first time He made these analogies. It would be my guess they probably did it very often as He went from town to town, and village to village and conversation to conversation and teaching opportunity to teaching opportunity in the three years of His ministry. Both the time that He was up in Galilee and now toward the end of His ministry as He heads toward the cross down in Judea, this was probably common language that He used. Well, for sure, we know He used it when He was up in Galilee in the Sermon on the Mount, which was preached many months before this. In fact, He said virtually the very same thing there, only not together. He said what He said in verse 33 in Matthew 5:15; He said what He said in verses 34 to 36 in Matthew 6:22 and 23. They were both in the same sermon that we know as the Sermon on the Mount, but they were in two different spots. And they were used to illustrate a different issue. There He used the subject of light and darkness to illustrate the testimony of the disciples and how the disciples were giving forth light. But even though there was light, people couldn't see it because they didn't have sight. He was talking about the disciples. Here He uses the same metaphors, the same similes, the same word pictures, only He's referring not to the testimony of the disciples but to His own testimony, His own witness.
The analogy is so obvious that it is perhaps true that some of the things that He says here were actually Hebrew proverbs, sort of colloquial expressions, they are so self-evident. The simple truth is this, light is everywhere but blind people can't see it.
Now this fits perfectly as a way to end this conversation that's been going on since back in verse 14. You remember during the life of Jesus, for all intents and purposes, He banished illness from Israel. His healings were massive and constant, from one end of that country to the other. He healed people, He cast out demons, He raised the dead, massive miracles, stilled the storms, walked on water, controlled fish, and on and on the record of the New Testament goes.
Having seen all of this and what they didn't see having heard as the word of mouth traversed the land of Israel, the Pharisees and scribes rejected it. They could not accept the fact that Jesus was God. They refused to accept that fact because He called into question the legitimacy of their religion. He called into question the legitimacy of their spirituality. He said they were phonies, they were hypocrites. They were self-righteous, they did not humble themselves. They did not recognize their sin. They did not plead for mercy and grace, but thought they could earn their way to heaven by their own religious works and morality. And when Jesus indicted them that was enough to turn them so bitterly against Jesus that no matter what He did, they refused to believe that He was who He was.
But there had to be some explanation because here He was going everywhere doing miracles, casting demons out, raising dead people. And there would be only two possible, supernatural sources. Either He was doing it by the power of God, or He was doing it by the power of Satan, and those are the only alternatives. Unwilling to acknowledge that He was doing it by the power of God, which would mean they had to accept His message which was a wholesale indictment of their spiritual hypocrisy and bankruptcy...unwilling to accept that He was doing it by the power of God, they were left with only one conclusion and they spun it that way: He was doing what He was doing by the power of Satan. Now this was the Pharisaic spin and they spun it right through the whole of Israel. They took it to Galilee and when Jesus was doing miracles up there, on one occasion healing a man who was deaf and dumb and blind by casting a demon out of him, they said He does what He does by the power of Beelzebul, which was one of the Jewish terms to describe Satan. They said He does what He does by the power of Satan. And up in Galilee Jesus said that's absolutely ridiculous. Why would Satan cast out Satan? A house divided against itself can't stand. A kingdom divided against itself can't stand. That's irrational. Furthermore, I must be exhibiting the power of God, for what I do is stronger than the power of Satan. I'm casting out Satan. He showed the folly and irrationality of their argument.
But that didn't change their minds at all. He did more miracles, did more teaching, more healings, more shattering into the kingdom of darkness with His power and sending demons fleeing out of people. They still didn't believe. And here He is months later down in Judea and in verse 14 He casts a demon out of a man who was mute and probably deaf, and when the demon is gone the man can speak and hear and the multitudes marveled. But some of them said, and here is the Pharisaic...the leadership, the scribes and the Pharisees, their spin, and now the people are expressing it themselves. Some of them said He cast out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons. This is not the power of God; this is the power of Satan. And so they were successful in their campaign against Jesus. The blasphemy took root and began to grow. It started with the leaders, got down to the grassroots. And others, verse 16 says, to taunt Him, is what it really means, "Others to taunt Him were demanding of Him a sign from heaven."
In other words, if this isn't from hell, if this isn't from Satan, then prove it. Which is to say we've reached our conclusion because You haven't given us enough evidence. In other words, they're...they're trying to say that we have come to the conclusion that You do what You do by the power of Satan because that's the only reasonable conclusion, given what You've done. It's Your fault. To put it in the terms that we are looking at in our passage, You didn't give us enough light.
Now remember, they considered themselves the people of the utmost spiritual insight, didn't they? They considered themselves to have the greatest spiritual perception. They considered themselves, according to Paul in Romans chapter 2, to be light to the blind. They considered themselves to be the spiritual guides, the people who had the knowledge of the law of God, the people who knew the true and living God, the people who knew the will of God and the way of God and the Word of God. And they themselves believed to be themselves to be a light to the blind. And so the conclusion of the leaders and the people who followed these leaders is that we don't have enough light to conclude that You're from God. So if You want us to conclude other than what we've concluded, You better do a sign that is distinctively from heaven because we don't have enough light. That was the issue.
And if you drop down to verse 29, Jesus says this, "This generation is a wicked generation. This generation is a wicked generation." Why? Immoral? Not particularly. They were moral, fastidiously moral. Irreligious? No, extremely religious. They were very dutiful in their religion, followed all of their traditional prescriptions of religion. That isn't the issue. Their wickedness is not predicated upon some kind of immorality and non-religion. This is a wicked generation, He said, because it seeks a sign. It's a wicked generation because it seeks a sign.
You know what was the profound indicator of their wickedness? That light was everywhere and they couldn't see it. That's how profound their darkness was. That's how profound their wickedness was. Light was everywhere; they couldn't see it. They make the ridiculous statement, if You expect to believe...for us to believe that You're from heaven, do a sign from heaven. And He had done so many. He says to them in verse 29, "There's not going to be any more signs just because you ask except one sign. I'll do one more, the sign of Jonah."
What did He mean by that? Well, He said that earlier, didn't He? As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the earth. He was talking about dying, being buried and after three days rising from the dead. That's a sign from heaven. Satan has the power of death; he doesn't have the power of life. But even after He did that... He rose from the dead. The Jewish leaders were told that He rose from the dead. And they bribed the soldiers to lie and they created a plot to spread another spin on the resurrection that the disciples had stolen His body, though they knew that was not true.
It was never an issue of light. It was always an issue of sight. And it is today. You say you don't have enough information about Jesus, you don't know how to conclude about Jesus. I remember one night when Larry King said to me, "I wish I had your faith." Faith comes by hearing the message about Christ. There's plenty of light; the issue is sight. And so Jesus concludes this discussion in verses 33 to 36 by talking about the difference between light and sight. They were wicked because they were laying the responsibility for their unbelief at the feet of Jesus and simply saying, "You didn't make Your point. We didn't have enough light. We came to the conclusion that we came to because that's all the information You gave us. You left us in the dark."
But that wasn't really the issue. They were blind willfully because they hated His message. They hated the indictment of their sin and hypocrisy and false religion and self-righteousness. They hate... They hated the idea that He called on them to acknowledge themselves as poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed, sinners under the judgment of God, headed for eternal punishment, who needed to repent and be saved. They hated that message. And so it skewed their ability to see the truth. You remember back in Luke 4 when Jesus went to His own synagogue. He preached one sermon and told those self-righteous people in His own town that He had grown up with that they were not who they thought they were. They were not right with God. They were alienated from God. They were poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed, who needed to be saved, who needed to repent; and they tried to kill Him after one sermon. They were blind, and they were willfully blind.
You see, John 3:19 and 20 says it, "Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are (What?) “evil." It's amazing how the sinner loves his sin. And I'm not just talking about the sins that we classify as the sins of immorality. The sins of self-righteousness are more seductive and more captivating than even the sins of immorality. You know, it's easier to reach an immoral person for the gospel than a moral one? It's easier to reach an irreligious person for the gospel than a religious one? Religion and morality is more seductive than dissolution and wretchedness. In fact, God the Holy Spirit, in order to bring a person to salvation, increases that person's sense of wickedness, sinfulness, guilt.
Jesus, looking at the leaders of Israel, in Matthew 15:14 said they are blind guides of the blind. That's almost comical. They are blind guides of the blind? Like a blind group on a tour having a blind guide? How could you point out anything? Spiritually they were blind guides of the blind, and Jesus went on to say if blind...blind man guides a blind man, both fall into the ditch. In Matthew 23, when Jesus gave His very denunciation against the religious leaders of Israel, He called them blind guides, Matthew chapter 23. He didn't do it just once; He just kept repeating it. Matthew chapter 23, verse 16: "Woe to you blind guides." Verse 17: "You fools and blind men." Verse 19: "You blind men." Verse 24: "You blind guides." It was unmistakable that He said the issue was not light, the issue was sight. And as I noted in Romans chapter 2 a few minutes ago, they saw themselves as the interpreters of the law, and the ones in the know who understood God, the will of God, the purposes of God. And the truth was, they didn't understand at all. And the name of God was actually blasphemed because of them. For these people to ask for a sign is like a man with no eyes asking you to turn up the light. It doesn't matter how much light there is, if you don't have any eyes, it's not going to do you any good. It's pointless.
Now let's look at these verses and just kind of divide them out a little bit. First I want to see...I want you to see verse 33, the presence of light, and this will sort of fall open to you now because of what I've said. "No one,” Jesus says, “after lighting a lamp puts it away in a cellar or under a peck measure.” That's about an eight-quart basket that was used to carry things in. No one puts a light in a cellar or under a peck measure, but on a lampstand. They had these little oil lamps. They filled them with oil, put a wick in them, lit them and put them up on a lampstand to get them up to eye level to light the room. "No one lights a lamp to put in a cellar” somewhere underground, “or under a basket, but on the lampstand in order that those who enter may see the light." It doesn't take a...anybody with any intelligence to figure out exactly what He means. You light a light so people can see. You light a light so that things can be revealed.
And the point is this: Why would Jesus hold back evidence? Nobody does that. This is too important, no one does that. I mean, it's ridiculous. No one is going to go through all of this and come how...come up short of making what needs to be revealed. Certainly God isn't going to do that. They had plenty of light. They had more light, a lot more light than the Queen of the South in verse 31, the Queen of Sheba, who only heard about Solomon and Solomon's God and made an amazing trek from down in Yemen all the way up to Jerusalem to see Solomon just because she had heard about his God and got up there and embraced the...the true and living God. She didn't have anywhere near the light that these people have had who had the living God in their midst for all this time, doing all these miracles right before their very eyes. They certainly had more light than the people of Nineveh. The people of Nineveh — Gentile, pagan, idolatrous nation of people — who only heard the truth from one erstwhile, rebellious, recalcitrant prophet named Jonah, who vomited out by a fish, finally ended up in Nineveh, preached, and the whole city repented with a lot less light than these people had. And so Jesus says when the Day of Judgment comes and all the sinners stand before the throne of God, the people of Nineveh and the Queen of the South are going to sit in judgment on you because they came to the knowledge of the true God with a lot less light than you have. Plenty of light; nobody turns on light and then hides it. God has given you plenty of light. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, 1 John 1:5 says. God dwells in unapproachable light, 1 Timothy 6:16. Daniel 2:22, light dwells in Him. And Psalm 36:9: “In Your light we see light.” When God turns His light on, we see. We wouldn't understand anything, would we, if God didn't turn His light on, is that not so? We wouldn't understand God; we wouldn't understand anything about Him; we wouldn't understand His nature, His character, His purposes; we wouldn't understand the plan of salvation unless God turned the light on and here's the light, “Thy Word is a light,” a lamp. This is the truth.
And there was the light in person, God in human flesh. As 2 Corinthians 4:6 puts it, the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ, the light of the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ. The light was on, the very light of God, and through Jesus God was revealing everything that needed to be revealed. He was revealing sin and righteousness and judgment. He was revealing the truth about everything. Light was everywhere.
John starts out his gospel, "In Him was light." "The Word was made flesh,” came into the world, in Him was light and the life was the light of men. He is the light. John 8:12, "I am the light of the world." The first chapter of John again, verse 9, "There was a true light and it was Him coming into the world." He is that true light. He is the blazing, shining forth of God's glory. Jesus came and made everything clear, everything about sin, everything about righteousness, everything about judgment, everything about the kingdom, everything about salvation, everything about true holiness, true religion. Christ was the blazing light of God's glory. Even Zacharias, the priest who was the father of John the Baptist... You remember when he, back in Luke 1, gave his Benedictus, filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak concerning the birth of John the Baptist, the great prophet who would announce the arrival of Messiah, he also talked about Messiah. Here's how Zacharias described Messiah. He described Him this way, Luke 1:78, as “the Sunrise from on high,” as the one who will shine on those who sit in darkness in the shadow of death. And he drew that out of the Old Testament; that's Isaiah 42; that's Isaiah 60 where the Messiah is coming as a light to the world. Zachariah knew that the promised Messiah was to turn on the light so the truth could be known, to dispel the darkness. And the natural man understands not the things of God, Ephesians 4:17 and 19 says. Their understanding is darkened. But in Jesus, God turned on the light.
Light was everywhere. In that era, in those three years of Jesus' ministry, they were flooded with light. It's not an issue of light. Jesus made everything clear that needed to be made clear about sin and about repentance and about faith and about salvation and about grace. But men love darkness rather than light because they cherish their sins, even their sins of self-righteous pride.
So we go from the presence of light to a second point: the problem of sight, the problem of sight. Verse 34, here's the real issue: "The lamp of your body is your eye. When your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light. But when it's bad, your body also is full of darkness." This is the real issue.
It's not about light; it's about sight. Seeing depends on the condition of your eye. The lamp of your body is your eye. This is obvious. Your eye is not the light; your eye is the organ that delivers the light to your mind and therefore makes everything clear to you. I see with my eye. My eye is not the light; my eye is the entrance of that light; it's the organ by which that light enters my mind and my mind comprehends the light and all that the light reveals. And that's how you see. When your eye is clear, your whole body is full of light. It's the only organ channeling light to the mind. But when it's bad, the body is full of darkness. No light can enter. And Jesus is simply saying this is obvious. It's not about light; light is everywhere, but blind people can't see it. The only people who see the light and perceive what it reveals are people who have clear eyes. Our eyes then give us the full benefit of all that the light reveals. The whole world is open to us and all that is lit up for us to behold if we can see. But Jesus is simply saying the problem is not light; there is light everywhere. First John...first chapter of John, 1:9: "Christ is the light that lights every man that comes into the world." The light of Christ is extended to the ends of the earth. It's not about the revelation; it's about the perception. And the lamp of the soul is the mind. The eye of the soul is the heart. And your hearts and minds are blind if you cherish your sin. You stay in a state of blindness. It may be that you cherish immorality and you cherish wickedness and vile kind of conduct, but in the case of these people, they cherish their self-righteous hypocrisy and their religion and their self-styled morality. They denied the basic principle of all that the Bible teaches, that men are sinners, can't do anything about it and are headed for eternal judgment unless they repent and ask God to forgive them. And there is nothing we can do to change that; it all must be done by God, and is done through Christ.
The phrase "when your eye is clear"... The word “clear,” haplous in the Greek, is a word that means “single” or “holding nothing back.” It's sometimes translated “generous” or “generously.” It's big. When your eye is wide open is the idea; when it's big, then you see everything. On the other hand, when t's bad — and it actually uses the word evil — when your eye is bad, that is to say when it's clouded by sin, covered by evil, then you're full of darkness. You see, it's sin; it's the cherishing and the holding to sin that makes you blind. The only way you're ever going to see the light, ever going to see the light, is to repent and be willing to abandon sin. The light of the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ was completely obscured to these people. Although the light was everywhere — it was like the sun at noon day, blazing, blinding light — but they had no eyes to see because their eyes were completely covered with sin.
Now this leads Jesus to make a third point. From the presence of light to the problem of sight, He then moves to the pretense of sight, the pretense of sight. This is amazing, verse 35. He says, "Then watch out, watch out that the light in you may not be darkness." Well, He knew what their response was going to be: What are You talking about that we're blind? What are You talking about? They saw themselves as the most sighted of all. They saw themselves as the ones who understood all truth. And He says, "You better watch out," skope in the Greek, scope it out; pay attention to it; be concerned about it. The light in you may in fact be what? Darkness. The world is full of these people, isn't it? Every time you hear some Eastern mystic announce that he has reached enlightenment, you can be sure that the light he thinks is in him is actually what? Darkness. Every time you hear some liberal theologian deny some truth of Scripture because he's come to some profound, historic understanding and he's been lifted above the errors of the Bible, you know what he thinks is light is actually darkness. Every false religion, every form of heresy, every system in the world apart from the true gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing but another form of darkness. But the sad reality of it is the people think it's light. There are people who think Jewish kabala is light. It's darkness. There are people who think that Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses have the light. It's darkness. And Jesus is saying to these Jewish leaders, You better be careful, you better watch out that the light you think is in you is not in fact darkness.
This is so hard to deal with. When a person thinks they have the light, they come to a very dangerous place. This is why Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. That's his great deception, to make people think they found the light when in fact it's the darkness. Listen to the words of Paul, Romans 1, "Even though they knew God,” or had the knowledge of God available to them, “they didn't honor Him as God, didn't give thanks, they became empty in their speculations, their foolish heart was darkened." These are people who reject the truth. "Their foolish heart was darkened.” And the next line, “professing to be wise they became fools," morons in the Greek. Their heart was darkened and they congratulated themselves on their wisdom. They're fools. This is the deepest darkness of all. This is the deception that makes the sinner think that darkness is light. All unconverted sinners are in the darkness without any exception. But it seems to me that most of them think they're in the light, particularly those in religion. That's why Jesus says you better take another look, watch out, you better look again. What you think is light is darkness. And you remember back in verses 24 to 26 He said, you just clean your life up morally you chased out that one demon. And what's going to happen? Eight more are coming back, because morality is dangerous, self-styled morality. They thought they saw and they were blind. They thought they heard and they were deaf. Thought they had sensitive hearts and their hearts were as hard as stones. This is so dangerous, so dangerous.
Go back to Matthew 13 for a moment and I'll show you why. Matthew 13, verse 13, Jesus says to the disciples, verse 13, "I speak in parables." Why did He speak in parables? "Because while seeing they do not see, while hearing they do not hear, do not understand." What? Jesus actually says I speak in parables, which if not explained are riddles; I speak in parables so that they can hear but not hear, see but not see. Why would you do that? Verse 14, "To fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah...the prophecy of Isaiah, 'You will keep on hearing but will not understand, you will keep on seeing but will not perceive, for the heart of this people has become dull. With their ears they scarcely hear, they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and return and I should heal them.'" And He quotes Isaiah 6, right? Jesus says I talk in parables because they will not hear; they will not see; they have closed their eyes. They will not listen; they will not understand. They will not repent. And because they will not, now they cannot. And so now I speak in parables.
That judgment that came out of Isaiah 6 originally was a judgment on Israel in Isaiah's time, and God said, "You've gone too far and you're not going to see and you're not going to hear, and you're not going to understand, and you're not going to turn, and you're not going to be healed because I'm not going to let it happen." What started out as a willful rejection of the truth in Isaiah's day became a judgment of God, confirming them in their unbelief. And it's stark and frightening. In Isaiah 29 and verse 10, "The Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep. He has shut your eyes. He has covered your heads. You wouldn't and now you couldn't."
In the 44th chapter of Isaiah, in the 18th verse, "They do not know nor do they understand, for He, God, has smeared over their eyes so they cannot see in their hearts so they cannot comprehend." What a frightening judgment. And by the way, that judicial hardening, that judicial blindness, judicial deafness is reiterated all through the New Testament: Mark 4, Luke 8, John 12, Acts 28, Romans 10, Romans 11. All of them go back to that same Isaiah passage to explain how that if someone goes far enough in willfully not seeing and hearing, God locks them in that condition as a judgment.
Jesus here is then warning us and saying, watch out, watch out that your willful blindness doesn't become judicial blindness, that because you won't see, you can't see. Watch out. Don't interpret the darkness as if it were light. And this isn't just Israel. This is a universal issue. In writing to the church in the book of Revelation in chapter 3, and verse 17, our Lord says, "You say,” speaking to the church in Laodicea in Asia Minor, “you say ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, have need of nothing,’ that's what you say, and you do not know you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." And He says, "You had better get some gold and you better clothe yourself and you better cover the shame of your nakedness." And then He says, "You better get some eye salve to anoint your eyes so you can see." You think you can see; you can't see at all. This is not just a problem in Israel; this is a problem even in the church. There are people sitting in quote-unquote “Christendom,” sitting in churches today, who can't see either, and you better be careful because it goes from I won't see to I can't see. Watch out for the state of your heart and your openness to see the truth. If you want to see the light, you have to turn from sin and repent and ask God to forgive and cleanse and open your spiritual eyes.
And then a final point Jesus makes, back to Luke 11: the presence of light, the problem of sight, the pretense of sight, finally the preciousness of sight. You know, I need to preach a series on verse 36, this is just... This just takes you into the heights. "If therefore your whole body is full of light with no dark part in it, it shall be wholly illumined as when the lamp illumines you with its rays." Now let me just...I can't do anything more than just give you a little insight into this thing.
The language here is limitless. The language here is expansive. Notice how expansive it is. "For those whose eyes are clear,” for those who will turn from the sin that blinds, for those who will honestly ask God to open their eyes the gift of sight opens up limitless vistas. Look at the expansive character of this language. Your whole body is full of light. The word "whole," the word "full," and then on the negative, "no dark part in it," and then "wholly illumined." Do you think He's trying to get something across here? It isn't that when you become a Christian you get a little bit of light here. When you become a Christian, you know, you get...you're able to see just enough to barely get into heaven. Becoming a believer and having your spiritual eyes opened opens limitless vision to you so that you understand everything. It's all there. “Open my eyes, Lord, that I might behold wondrous things out of” what? “out of Your law.” And we go to this Word and we have an anointing from God that teaches us all things. And so the Word of God opens up to us; the Word is a lamp and a light to our path, and it exposes and reveals everything to us. We go from total blindness to total sight. We go from total blindness to spiritually having 20/20 vision. And that's why Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life." We're even called children of light. We've been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are sons of light. We walk in the light. All of these expressions used by the New Testament epistle writers. The Day Star has dawned in our hearts and we live in the light. First Peter 2:9, wonderful statement, "He has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." And 2 Peter 1:19, "We have this prophetic word,” the Scripture, “as a lamp shining in a dark place."
What happens when you come to Christ? What happens when you repent and the darkness disappears? You get all the light unlimited so that you become a son of light; that is to say, you are characterized by light. I think it's so important to say this to people, that becoming a Christian doesn't take you into some sort of minimalist experience with God. You come out of total blindness into total light and everything is revealed to you by the Spirit through the Word. It takes you a while to discover everything, you know, it's like finding Waldo. You know he's there and you just keep digging till you find him. But you have the vision and you have the sight and everything is eliminated.
I want to close with this. Turn to John 12, John 12. Those of you who have never found Waldo don't even know what I'm talking about. Probably don't have any grandchildren or children. John 12 verse 35, folks, I'm just telling you, here's the message to you at the end. Let it come from Jesus. I don't know how long you're going to live. I don't know how long you're going to have the opportunity to come to the light, and that's what Jesus said, verse 35. Jesus therefore said to them, "For a little while longer the light is among you, walk while you have the light so the darkness may not overtake you as he who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light in order that you may become sons of light."
You know, there comes a day when God turns out the light and because you won't believe, you can't believe. Because Israel wouldn't, they couldn't. Believe while the light is there. And, you know, when He said that there wasn't much time because the next statement, verse 36, "These things Jesus spoke and He departed and” what's the next word? “hid Himself." Isn't that amazing? He said that and He left and the light went out for those people for that moment as an illustration, a very dramatic one of the fact that you're not always going to have the light. It was never a question of light. Look at verse 37, "Though He had performed so many signs before them." They didn't need any more signs. Yet they weren't believing in Him. Why? "That the word of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, 'Lord, who has believed our report, to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this cause” here it is “they could not believe." They would not; they could not. The light was there. They would not. He hid.
If you've never come to the light, if you've never repented of your sins, I don't know how long God is going to let the light shine. In this case, they couldn't believe; verse 39, as Isaiah said, He blinded their eyes; He hardened their hearts lest they see with their eyes, perceive with their heart, be converted and I heal them. God literally took those people who would not believe and made it so they could not believe and could not be converted.
Verse 42 gives you a little picture of a difference. "Many even of the rulers believed in Him." Why? Couldn't deny it. "But because of the Pharisees, they were not confessing Him lest they should be put out of the synagogue for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God." That will send you to hell. And what was it that damned them? They knew; it was obvious. But people, religious people and their religious system, and the approval of their religious leaders was more important to them than the approval of God. False religion damns, even Judaism, even false Christianity. The light is everywhere, everywhere, here. The problem isn't light; the problem is sight. And the deadly danger is to have the pretense of sight and to miss the preciousness of the true sight when the scales of sin come off your eyes and everything becomes clear. This is God's gift to the penitent who puts his trust in Christ.
God knows your heart. He knows where you are. Before you reach the point where your blindness becomes permanent, this is the time to plead for your sins to be forgiven, scales to come off your eyes, and embrace Christ.
Father, we thank You for the light that floods our souls through grace. I pray, oh God, that You would bring many to the light, that it would shatter the darkness and open blind eyes. We rejoice, oh God, to see everything clearly. The entrance of Your Word gives light on everything. Your Word makes everything clear, enlightening our eyes, as the psalmist said. We see all things as they really are, and we see the glory of our salvation and eternal hope. How blessed is this. Open blind eyes even today. We pray in Christ's name. Amen.
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