Jesus of Nazareth said, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.”
What’s Jesus talking about?
Jesus is talking about the super religious traditionalists and theological elitists. He’s chastising people who honor God with their lips, but their ‘worship’ is in vain because they teach their own opinions and points of emphasis as doctrines. Jesus is talking about people who have the light of God’s word, but they dwell in darkness because they leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men. They acquire master’s degrees and PhD’s in biblical studies but they refuse to learn the actual emphasis of God’s Word, which is the fact that He desires mercy, not performance; and the fact that He calls not “the righteous,” but sinners. The light in them is darkness because they have a sophisticated, seemingly mature, system for rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish their own traditions.
It is no coincidence that immediately after Jesus’ warning about light becoming darkness, while Jesus is still speaking, a super religious traditionalist and theological elitist asks Jesus to dine with him. Jesus agrees to sup with this uppity uptight jet set haut monde, and the host is aghast and horrified to see that Jesus does not adhere to the piety principles and decorous conventions of the SRT-TE (super religious traditionalist – theological elitist) society.
At this point Jesus could simply keep His mouth shut, and let the palpable tension between Himself and the SRT-TE die down. Or Jesus could tactfully call attention to the SRT-TE’s agitation, and say something like, “We clearly have different priorities, and our particular points of emphasis obviously don’t align; but let’s simply agree to disagree (respectfully).”
But instead of these diplomatic options, Jesus goes with something more raucous… Jesus says, “You SRT-TE’s polish up the outside of your lives with codes of decorum and superficial customs, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! You SRT-TE’s posture and present yourselves as irreproachable and exemplary, but the fact is – you completely neglect justice and the love of God! You’re pretentious and shallow! You act like you have ‘the good life’, but you’re zombies! You don’t have life! You’re popularity, prosperity, and prominence reek of death!
Then one of the SRT-TE’s lawyers said, “Jesus, in saying these things you insult us.”
At this point perhaps you imagine Jesus might say, “I’m sorry, I got carried away. I didn’t mean to offend anyone. Please accept my sincerest apologies.”
But that’s not what Jesus does. …believe or not (like it or not) Jesus doesn’t defuse the hostile situation, and He doesn’t even attempt to alleviate our concerns that things are really starting to get out of hand!
Jesus replies, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed the prophets (i.e. the prior generations of raucous insulters!), and you build their tombs. The blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, it will be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”