24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgement with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Jesus highlights here that the miracles he does point to the truth of the teaching he brings. The Israelites, like many today, chased after miraculous signs and wonders because they wanted entertainment and comfort. Jesus was bringing words that demanded obedience and transformation if they were going to be fully accepted. Jesus embarrasses the Israelites by declaring that foreigners had traveled great distances when they knew the truth was to be found. Foreigners had repented when the word of God’s truth was brought to them, even when those foreigners were the cruel and barbaric Assyrians.
Why is it important to respond correctly to what we see? How we respond to what we see makes all the difference because eyes are like guardians of the body. What our eyes see and accept becomes what we believe and act upon. If we fill our heart and mind with darkness, we will bring darkness and strife to those around us. If we fill our hearts with light, we will be light to the world. This is why we need to put Jesus and his teaching before us, understand him rightly and spread his truth through word and action.
I find that I am seeing things differently after years of walking with you. Help me to continue to see the truth of what you teach and the truth of who you are. Let me be a blessing to those that I teach and mentor so that they may flourish and prosper in accordance with your light.
- How is the word central to each incident in the passage?
- How is choice making important in this passage?
- Why is Jesus so bold when his popularity is resulting in bigger crowds?
- How do churches court popularity and dilute Jesus’ teaching?
- How do Jesus’ observations in this passage ring true for 21st century church?