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By:  D. De Haan

If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!Matthew 6:23

In today’s text, Jesus made a seemingly contradictory statement. He called light darkness. We can best understand His words, I believe, by comparing two kinds of light.

Consider first the flickering glow of a lightning bug. Two rare chemicals, luciferas and luciferin, produce the lightning bug’s light. Both terms are related to the word lucifer, which means “light-bearing.” (Lucifer is also one of the names for Satan.) Now consider the sun’s light. Its brilliance is blinding. By comparison, the lightning bug’s light is “darkness.”

In Matthew 6, Jesus cautioned His hearers about living for riches and urged them instead to lay up their treasures in heaven. Then He illustrated His warning by referring to “the lamp of the body,” the eye. If our focus is on spiritual things, we will be full of light. But if we live for earthly riches, we will become filled with a dark light, which He described as great darkness.

Money can brighten our lives to some degree, but it cannot heal broken hearts, remove guilt, or bring inner peace. It is too dim to satisfy our deepest spiritual longings.

Only Christ can illumine the soul with the light of salvation. Let’s live to please Him. Any lesser light will leave us in darkness.

The earthly riches we possess
Can demonstrate our love
If we deposit cheerfully
Our treasure up above
. —Sper

Some people have plenty to live on but nothing to live for.


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