“So if the light within you is darkness - how deep is that darkness.” (Matthew 6:23b)
Interesting. Jesus spoke of darkness in the context of materialism in Matthew 6. He began this part of the Sermon on the Mount by admonishing people to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth, because focusing life on possessions is the equivalent of making them your master. Materialism can morph us into slaves, and in reality we may not even be aware that it is happening. In that context comes His almost cryptic discussion or illustration using the eye.
Jesus said that the eye is the lamp of the body. If the eye is good, it is like the body is full of light. If the eye is bad, it is like the whole body is full of darkness. And if the only light you have in you is darkness, then that darkness runs deep and is, in fact, pitch black. So, how does what we perceive as light become darkness? Through self-deception.
When we believe that our earthly possessions are the real fabric of life, we have succumbed to self-deception. While it may feel like we are in the light, free and comfortable, and feeling good, we are unknowingly in the dark. Self-deception has mastered us, and we never saw it coming.
So, how is the blindness of this self-deception overcome? It takes three conditions: a realization, a decision, and an action. In our hearts we first must recognize the truth of the temporal nature of possessions. Then we decide that we would prefer to live in the light of God’s perspectives. Third, we begin to live out our lives in relation to Him, serving Him as our life priority with all we have, including our possessions. When we reach this point in faith, that is when the lights come on.