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Christian Articles by Pamela Ayn Austen

Pamela Ayn Austen

An Evil Eye

Pamela Ayn Austen

MATTHEW 6:22-23

22. The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.  23. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great that darkness will be.


Our eye, in Scripture, stands for our judgment, or the way we judge what we see and hear.  I believe the best way to illustrate how this works is to tell Jesus's story of the good landowner. 

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.  He agreed to pay them a day's wage and sent them into his vineyard.  About the third hour, he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 'You also go into my vineyard,' he said, ‘and I will pay you whatever is right.’  So they went.

He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ he asked.  'Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.  So he told them, ‘You also go into my vineyard.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last ones hired and moving on to the first.’  The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.  So when the original workers came, they assumed they would receive more. But each of them also received a denarius.

On receiving their pay, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’  But the landowner answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you.  Did you not agree to be paid one denarius? Take your pay and go.  I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. Do I not have the right to do as I please with what is mine? Or is your eye evil because I am good?'" Matthew 20:1-15


The workers had been content to accept a day's wages at the start.  What changed?  Their judgment of the matter changed.  When they judged by what their eyes saw, they became greedy for more.  Then, when the owner didn't give them the expected increase, they judged him to be unjust toward them.  In fact, neither their first or their second judgement was correct, and yet, they became angry over it.  Their bad judgement led them to become unjustly indignant toward the man who had hired them, in which case, they began returning evil for good.  

And so, Jesus said that if our eye is evil or bad, that is, if our judgments are wrong and based on faulty assumptions, then we'll be full of darkness and our lives will not be lived right.  King Solomon said about a fool in Ecclesiastes 10: 12,13:  He begins with a wrong premise, and so his words end in foolish madness.  Therefore, if we judge something in an erroneous manner from the start, we can only end up doing wrong and speaking evil things, even to the point of madness.  The workers in this parable judged the landowner as owing them more money than he ever promised them, so that their later anger appeared to be madness to the landowner, and he rebuked them for their "evil eye", or really, their bad judgment 

Since our mind and judgments are constantly ruling over our own body, and our body and actions obey what is in the mind, then when our mind becomes angry, we do and say things that are evil, dark, and without understanding.  King Solomon said in Proverbs 30:33:  As the churning of milk yields butter, and the twisting of the nose draws blood, so the stirring of anger brings forth strife.

How often does anger produce murder?  And we're told in Proverbs 28:17:  A person burdened by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive until he dies; let no one help him.

So Jesus said, ". . . if the light in you is really darkness, how great that darkness will be!"  If your mind is darkened by bad judgments, the evil that you can produce is so great, it can lead to murder and the fires of eternal damnation.  

Anyone who judges Jesus wrongly, Scripture says that that person is blind.  Again, we're led to think of the eye.  If you're spiritually blind, you will judge Jesus in a wrong manner, and your darkness of eye, or your wrongness in judging who Jesus is, will lead to your own eternal damnation.  Concerning the Pharisees and Sadducee rulers of Jesus's day, Jesus said, "If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch." Matthew 15:14  The wicked leaders were leading the people to judge Jesus wrongly, and Jesus said, "They will all fall."  Because Jesus told them, "Unless you believe that I am he (the Messiah), you will die in your sins." John 8:24  

Consider this prophecy about Jesus when he was just born to Mary:  Then Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary: "Behold, this Child is appointed to cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your soul as well.”

Eventually, in every life, everyone will rise or fall depending on their judgment of who Jesus Christ was and is and will forevermore be.  He is the Messiah, the Son of God, our Eternal Savior, the Alpha and Omega.


So in light of this teaching, in which Jesus says that our eyes are the lamp of our whole body, then one can see how paramount it is to cultivate good and godly judgment, and this can only come through diligent study of the Scripture, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I say it comes by the Holy Spirit because many false teachers on TV, and otherwise, study the Scripture, but because the eye of their judgment is bad, and their assumptions are humanly wrong, they use God's word to back up their own greedy agenda, and thereby, they lead God's people astray; they make all Christians look bad; and they incur condemnation from God upon themselves.  We have to be led by the Holy Spirit in order to understand God's word as God intends for it to be received. 

So that's it:  the Bible and the Holy Spirit combined with our own faith in Jesus and our own obedience is what gives a good eye and good judgment.  So read and pray and praise!  As King Solomon said in Proverbs 3:8:  It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones. 

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