Eyes have more than two million working parts. They involve about half the brain in the act of seeing. They are the second most complex organ (after the brain). Eye muscles are the most active in the entire body, as well as the strongest (relative to their size). Specific types of cells enable us to see shapes and colors. And while a fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, an iris has 256.
Today’s passage begins with the idea of storing up treasure in heaven (vv. 19–21). Earthly treasures are at risk of decay and theft. Heavenly treasures are eternal and cannot be lost or destroyed. We should prioritize and prize the heavenly ones, seeking after them rather than pursuing earthly goods. Good deeds and acts of obedience can make us “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
This truth about heavenly treasure can only be seen with clear spiritual eyes or understanding. “Healthy” and “unhealthy” eyes are analogous to “generosity” and “stinginess.”
Just as physical eyes let in the light by which we see material reality, only clear spiritual eyes can see the folly of riches. Just as a blind person lives in the dark physically, so coveting or trusting in wealth is living in the dark spiritually. Just as seeing affects everything else, our attitude to money ripples into many other areas of life: “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (vv. 22–23).
This one point is crucially important. “No one can serve two masters” or have divided loyalties (v. 24). God and money are mutually exclusive in this sense. We live in the most affluent society in history, so we should take this warning to heart!
Putting our hope in earthly riches is futile (see Eccl. 5:8–17; Luke 12:13–21). Wealth can be a strong temptation against faith in God (Matt. 19:24). It can also easily lead to greed, pride, abuse of power, and other sins. What is our attitude toward money and finances? Do we see it as an area of stewardship under the Lordship of Christ?