The Book of Luke, God's Clear Evidence that Produced Various Verdicts, Part V - Lesson 146
We will be in Luke 11:33‑36 today, which follows the passages that we have been studying regarding the evidence that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the sent one of God.
The evidence of scripture that Jesus Christ is the sent one of God, that Jesus Christ is God himself is incontrovertible.
Incontrovertible means unquestionable, it means irrefutable, it means incontestable, indisputable, and it means undeniable.
I can use these great descriptive words and say that Jesus Christ is God, with full confidence, only because I am a believer.
Unbelievers cannot have this confidence.
I enjoy this confidence because I am a believer and I am a believer only because my eyes have been opened to this truth by God.
God has not given me superior intelligence to believe, he has not given me extra biblical evidence so that I know something more than scripture provides to all men.
The evidence is the same for everyone, but the reactions to that evidence is as varied as men are varied, it is as varied as the eyesight of men and women is varied.
Men and women will normally and naturally reject incontrovertible evidence of spiritual things in a variety of ways because they will not believe God’s word.
This is due to the fact that they view the evidence through their own perceptions, rather than from God’s point of view which is expressed in His word.
And their own perceptions are based upon the natural and not the spiritual for they are spiritually dead.
They view the evidence as it were, as blind men trying to explain a sunset or a deaf man explaining what sounds, sound like.
Their eyes have not been opened to the evidence and therefore they consider the evidence as though they were blind.
In the final paragraph of this section of Luke 11 that we have been studying, Jesus now exposes the real problem which underlies all of the misinterpretation that precedes this paragraph.
Why can’t men believe the evidence that God provides?
I have heard it said at one time or another: Nobody would reject the gospel if it was clearly explained.
This passage in Luke 11 which we are about to read brings this claim to shame for this claim is not only untrue, it is a denial of the truth.
No one more perfectly proclaimed the gospel than our Lord Jesus Christ, and yet most refused to receive it.
The problem is not with the evidence, but with the eye that beholds the evidence.
And that is what the Lord Jesus Christ brings to the ears of the crowd who by their unbelief brought proof of this very fact for in most cases their eyes were evil.
For he told them in Luke 11:33‑36,
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. 34The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
In verse 33 Jesus says that the purpose of lighting a candle is to illuminate, and therefore a light is put in a prominent place and not hidden.
No man lights a candle for the purpose of hiding it but lights it for the purpose of illumination so that the darkness is dispelled.
Jesus Christ is saying here that God the father has sent forth the light and that he, Jesus Christ, is the light, he is the candle that will not be hidden.
He is saying that He has come as the light of the world, that He has come to illuminate men and not to hide from men(Luke 1:79;
John wrote of this in:
John 1:4,5, In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Since He came to illuminate men, He did not speak or act in secret, but he spoke and acted openly.
His light was brightly exposed to men and was never hidden.
How often do we hide the light that we have been told to broadcast so that men may see, but out of fear we hide our light from them lest we be put to scorn.
But Jesus Christ never hid his light and this generation to whom he spoke could not accuse God for lack of light.
Jesus had come to seek and to save that which was lost and in doing this he provided evidence that was plentiful and out in the open for all to see.
The evidence was clear, the light was bright.
Christ is not the founder of a secret society.
He is the originator of the sunshine law where all things are transparent for all to see.
We see in this passage that no one denied the miracles which Jesus performed.
In this passage, no one denied that He had cast a demon from the dumb man.
Everyone, however, failed to come to the right conclusion with this evidence.
They came to the wrong verdict.
The evidence did not convince or convert men.
The reason why this is so is seen in the next verses.
They tell us that the problem was not with the evidence Jesus produced, but with the eyes which beheld it.
34The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
The eye, Jesus said, is the gateway to the person’s entire being, his whole body.
If the eye is good, if it lets in the light, the whole body is illuminated.
If the eye is defective, if it lets in little or no light, the whole body is dark.
Jesus is saying that everyone who failed to interpret the evidence of this miracle as they should have done so, has a defect in their ability to “see” the truth, not because of any deficiency in the evidence.
Some folks who cannot hear, or all they hear is mumbling, complain that others are not speaking up.
The fault is not with other folks it is with those who are hard of hearing whose ears are not capable of processing the sound.
If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is the sent one of God the fault is not with God.
The fault is not with God for he provides all the light you need to believe, the fault is with your eyes which refuse to allow the light in which is needed to see.
The scriptures are full of references to the eyes which are made to receive light and when they do not receive light they are blind.
Jesus Christ uses this analogy of the eyes receiving or not receiving light as a comparison of a man receiving or not receiving truth.
Psalm 19:8, The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 119:18, Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Isaiah 6:10, Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Isaiah 44:18, They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.
Ezekiel 12:2, Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Revelation 3:18, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
From these Scriptures it seems that a man’s ability to understand what God is saying and doing is dependent upon his ability to “see” the truth.
Man’s reception of the truth then, is the problem, not the truth!
The Bible is plentiful with evidence, the Bible is truth, Jesus Christ is the Truth, but the eyes of man are not able to see it.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, Unless ye be born again you cannot see the kingdom of God.
You see here that man himself is responsible for his unreceptive heart toward God and toward spiritual truth.
That seems to be the thrust of our Lord’s words to the crowd in Luke 11:
Luke 11:35, Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.
You are responsible for your eyes.
You must be born again, you must take heed that the light that is in thee is not darkness.
Another reason for man’s blindness is the work of Satan, who blinds men’s minds from the truth.
2 Corinthians 4:4, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
But blindness is also a work of judgment on God’s part, for He has blinded the eyes of Israel as a temporary judgment, due to their persistent unbelief
John 12:39‑41, Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
How, then, does one who is blind come from blindness to sight, from darkness to light, from death to life?
I believe that the answer to this question is clear in the Bible.
Man cannot, in and of himself, heal himself of his blindness, for it is a blindness of heart.
Instead, God, through his grace and a miraculous act on His part, opens our eyes to see the truth.
I believe that Paul’s physical blindness and the receiving of his sight (Acts 9:1‑19), was symbolic of his spiritual blindness turned to sight by a direct act of God.
Later in Acts, we read of Lydia’s eyes being opened, as it were:
Acts 16:14, And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
The epistles frequently speak of God’s bringing His people out of darkness into the light:
2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
Ephesians 5:8, 8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Man’s conversion begins when God sovereignly opens the eyes of those whose sin (along with Satan’s blinding) has kept them from seeing the truth and responding to it.
This does not mean that man has no responsibility to believe, but only that he cannot believe until his eyes are opened.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is also involved in this “enlightenment”
Ephesians 1:17, That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,;
1 Corinthians 2:6‑16, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Once a person has come to faith in Christ, it is the Scriptures which expose the light in our lives, and which reveals our sin.
The Scripture “opens our eyes and sharpens our focus” as it were.
On the one hand we must ask for God to “open our eyes” as we come to the Word, so that we may see in it the things God has for us.
Psalm 119:18, Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
On the other hand, the Scriptures serve to open our eyes, to show us life as it is, ourselves as we are, and God as He is
Hebrews 4:12‑13, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do).
The Spirit of God convinces men of the truth of the Word of God(John 16:5‑15).
We will never argue a person into the kingdom of God.
We will never produce enough evidence to save anyone.
The problem is not in the evidence (which we can and should present), but in the eye of the lost.
We are not only to proclaim the truth but we are to pray that God will open eyes to receive the truth for we cannot convert a single soul.
Only God can replace darkness with light.
Only God can open eyes that are blinded to the truth.
Lost men can’t understand the truth and would not accept it if they did.
Salvation is a miracle which God performs, and in which we are privileged to take part.