When we see things, we project our own biases upon what we are seeing. What we see out there is interpreted through our own personal filter. Jesus here is challenging his listeners to think about the kind of eye that they are developing. Do they have an evil eye or a good eye? Is their eye able to see what is true and good or is it tainted by greed and malice?
Jesus’ teaching falls between two warnings in the larger context. The first is that we must be very careful about what we value because there are some things that look like treasures but are not. The second warning is that if we want to pursue the Kingdom of God and its treasures, it is not a part-time endeavor.
The question we face is why do we pursue things that will negatively impact our lives? The answer is found in the way that our eyes work. We project value on things that have no value because we do not see them for what they are. The object itself is not the problem. The real problem is how we overvalue something to the point that we make it an idol because we see it through our bad eyes. We treasure things more than we should because we see them wrongly and therefore we make bad investments.
In order to change how we see things we need to grow in our knowledge of Jesus and knowledge of ourselves. We are designed to know Jesus and know how we are designed to live so that we can see the world rightly. We can do this when we receive our value from the love of God, with a knowledge that God has declared that we have worth and that we do not have to chase worth. This foundational truth will change the way we see everything.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”