Luke 11:33-36


 33 “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 The eye is the lamp of your body; 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. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”

Jesus goes from talking about Jonah and His resurrection into what seems like a bizarre tangent about light and eyes and lamps. Is this a section break by Luke? None of the gospel writers appear to be all that strict with their chronologies, so it’s possible. Matthew puts the first part of this saying with the Sermon on the Mount.

In Matthew’s context, the first verse is about not hiding who you are and going good works and Charity so that men see the light within you and glorify God. Here, it seems to relate to being aware. To notice with your eyes and not to deliberately shield yourself from the light of God or the light of Wisdom. To be aware of Christ’s words and actions, to take them into you and ponder them and then to shine with that same light.

The choice remains ours, we can refuse to see anything that challenges our life, our culture, our natural values, or we can choose to learn and take in what is right, or we can choose and take in what is evil. Those are the three choices that Christ presents to us, and only one of them has a good outcome.

There is also a call to introspection, to ensure that we don’t think we’re full of light when we’re really full of darkness.

The life of the Christian is a constant one of course correction. Our call is to imitate Christ and to be willing to sacrifice our time, resources, and attention to meet the needs of others. Every day we fail in some way, so our life should be filled with moments where we consider who we are in light of our words and our deeds and make adjustments to either as needed.

The end result of all of this is that the disciple of Christ, as he examines the life of Jesus and tries to imitate it, will shine with the light of Jesus, that is, others will see his good works and glorify God.

So I guess the two passages do fit together in the end.

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