Luke 11:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. (NKJV)
(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)
Jesus had just told the crowds that they were an “evil generation” who were seeking “signs” as “proof” that Jesus was the Son of God. He told them that they weren’t going to get any signs except the “sign of Jonah”. Then the Lord goes on to tell them that the problem was their bad lamps.
It all sounds kind of irrelevant and strange to us; but in fact, the Lord could just as easily speak these words to us and have them apply perfectly. Let’s take a look….
Luke 11:29-30 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. (NKJV)
The crowds were “seeking a sign”. What does that mean? It means they wanted more “proof” that Jesus was authentic despite the fact that Jesus had already proven beyond any doubt who He was, and what power He possessed. They wanted a sign; they wanted to be “WOWed”; they wanted more of what had already been given.
Sound familiar? It should. Today there is a massive and growing multitude of people who seek “signs and wonders” for various reasons… some to be “convinced” that God is real; some to be persuaded that the Bible is true; some to be sure that obeying Christ will be “worth” it; and others just seek a sign because it appeals to the flesh and our need for excitement.
There is no shortage of “personalities” today who will deliver these “signs” for the anxious masses. It is not my intention here to discuss whether ALL of these “signs and wonders” producers are genuine or not, but we can safely say that the overwhelming majority are “entertainers”, pretenders and charlatans (follow the money)… not prophets or representatives of God. What we can say is that…
SIGNS are UNNECESSARY today to authenticate the Gospel,
the Bible, Jesus Christ or God; or to move us
into a deeper relationship with Him.
Notice what Jesus said to the crowd:
Luke 11:30-32 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment 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 indeed a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. (NKJV)
Jesus told them that the Queen of Sheba and the men of Ninevah will sit in judgment of the evil sign-seeking generation because they (the Queen and the people of Ninevah) believed God and had even LESS evidence (signs) than the generation Jesus lived among. Jesus said “I am standing right here in front of you, greater than Jonah, and yet you still don’t believe!”
When the Queen of Sheba and men of Ninevah get done judging those of Jesus generation, they can move on over to our generation. Why are additional “signs and wonders” unnecessary today to authenticate or validate the message (or messengers) of God? Because:
- We already have Jesus and the complete revelation and story concerning our Lord
- We have the inspired Word of God that gives us God’s full and complete revelation to mankind
- We have 2000 years of evidence, history and proof of the power and authenticity of the Gospel message
- We have 2000 years of accumulated Bible knowledge, resources, wisdom and testimony
We don’t need “signs” to convince us to follow Jesus, or to follow Him more closely. It is STILL a “wicked and perverse” generation who “seeks a sign” to “enhance” their Christian walk.
This is a good time for a disclaimer…
This is NOT a lesson about whether miracles can/do occur. I am NOT saying that anyone who has experienced something “miraculous” is somehow “wicked and perverse”. It IS a lesson about the wickedness of those who never quite get around to fully serving God, but are always running around looking for the latest “sign”, “movement” or “manifestation” of God. It IS a lesson for the immature Christian whose main interest is the mystical and charismatic aspects of “christianity”, but has no grasp, nor makes any effort, concerning the fundamentals, the basics, the unglamorous service or the methodical, persistent, disciplined and holy aspect of the Christian life.
That part of the disclaimer is for those who profess Christianity. Here’s the part for the skeptic: this lesson IS also about those who “seek a sign” in order to believe. They claim that if God would show them a miracle, they would turn in faith to Him. Wrong. In the same way that the people in Jesus’ day, despite having seen hundreds (if not thousands) of indisputable miracles, still rejected Him, the people with a “show me a sign” attitude today will continue to reject Him too, no matter how spectacular the “sign”.
Okay, we got that cleared up. Now, what is the foundational problem with the “sign seekers”? According to Jesus, they’ve got “bad lamps”. What does that mean? “Lamp” occurs twice in two consecutive verses with two different meanings.
Luke 11:33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. (NKJV)
The lamp here could either be the knowledge about Jesus Christ as Savior, or it could mean the Word of God. Basically, the Lord is saying “when a person has the TRUTH (a light, a lamp) and knows it, they will not hide it under something where it cannot be seen; rather, they will put it up, out in the open, for all too see”. This verse has been rightly used to teach Christians to be bold about sharing the Gospel and Bible truth with those around you. You have the Truth; don’t hide it! Put it on display for all to see.
Luke 11:34-36 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” (NKJV)
We now switch to a different type of lamp – the lamp of the body which Jesus clarifies as being the “eyes”, more specifically, the “spiritual eyes”. Whatever goes into your eyes “fills up” your body. If you put the light of the Word of God into your eyes, your whole body is “full of light”. If the world is the main thing your “eyes” see, then you will be full of the world (darkness).
Why did the people want a sign? Because they had BAD LAMPS. Their eyes sought the wrong thing. They had filled their eyes with “wickedness and perversion” up to that point. Their bodies were full of darkness instead of light. People who are not filled with the Light (God), seek a “sign” even though they don’t need one. The Light (Jesus) was standing right in front of them, and available. But darkened, unspiritual eyes could not see it.
It is no different today. The Light is right in front of us. Jesus has been revealed; the Holy Spirit has been sent; the Word of God is complete… and yet masses of people still want a “sign”.
You might be saying about now, “well that doesn’t apply to me; I’m not seeking a “sign“. You sure ’bout that?
- What’s keeping you from more fully serving the Lord? Waiting for some “sign”, a “word” from the Lord, some unmistakable event or occurrence to finally push you towards deeper devotion and holiness?
- What’s keeping you from giving more to the Lord? Waiting for a financial “sign”? A money miracle? Waiting for God to “prove” that He will keep His Word about providing for you? Need a little more convincing (a sign) before stepping out in faith?
- What’s keeping you from witnessing to people? Waiting for a “sign” from God to confirm it? Do you need some “indication” from God that He is with you and will help you?
- What’s keeping you from really studying your Bible consistently and seriously? Waiting for some “sign” that the Bible REALLY is the Living Word, sharper than any sword, able to divide soul and spirit, perfect and complete for all things that pertain to life and Godliness? Are you waiting for some special supernatural “push” that will finally convince you of the value of Bible study?
- What’s keeping you from praying? Do you need a “sign” from God to prove that He hears you? Do you need more evidence to authenticate that prayer is effective and productive? What “sign” will do it for you? What “proof” will finally get you there?
Oh, I’d venture to say that a lot of us are waiting for something “extra” (a sign of sorts) in some area that would finally “convince” us to get serious about God. Well my friends, we don’t need it, and it won’t come. We have all the proof, evidence, authentication and motivation needed to do anything and everything God would have us to do (2Tim 3.16-17; 2Pet 1.3).
The only sign we should be seeking now is the one that says, “well done thou good and faithful servant”.
Lord, Help us to know that we don’t need a “sign”; we have YOU. Help us to fill our whole bodies with light by letting Your Word fill our lamps (our eyes). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: What’s keeping you from more fully serving the Lord? What’s keeping you from giving more to the Lord? What’s keeping you from witnessing to people? What’s keeping you from really studying your Bible consistently and seriously? What’s keeping you from praying?
Application: Are you looking for any “signs” that will FINALLY convince you to go deeper, farther and more consistently with the Lord? Don’t look for sign. Look at Jesus. He is as close as your Bible, and a prayer.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?