Summary: The Bible is filled with idioms that we miss in English. This sermon deals with the "good" eye vs. the "evil" eye.
1. An elderly man was desperately ill. Knowing the time for his departure was near, he called for his closest friends to come see him one last time. Attending him were his doctor, his preacher and his business manager.
The old man said, “I know you can’t take it with you, but who knows for sure? What if the experts are mistaken? I want to account for all possibilities. So I’m giving you each an envelope containing $100,000. When I die, I want you each to slip the envelope in my jacket pocket at the funeral service. Then, if I do need money in the life to come, I’ll be ready. And I’m giving the envelopes to you because you are my most trusted friends.”
Shortly thereafter, the man did die. Each of his three friends was seen slipping something into the deceased’s coat pocket as he walked up to the casket to pay his final respects.
Following the service, while these friends were visiting with each other, the doctor, with a sheepish look on his face, said, “Guys, I have a confession to make. You know with the cost of medicine today, I don’t make that much money. The hospital is desperate for funds. We can’t even replace the CAT scan machine that’s broken down. So, I took $20,000 for the new CAT scan and put the rest in the coffin.”
The minister cleared his throat and looked down at his shoes. He said, “I, too, have a confession to make. As you know, our church is seriously overburdened by the needs of the homeless.
I couldn’t just see burying that money. So, in hopes of helping the homeless, I took $50,000 out of the envelope and put the rest in his pocket.”
Looking sternly at the doctor and the minister, the businessman exclaimed, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I am astonished and deeply disappointed that you would treat a solemn trust so casually. He was our friend. I want you to know that I placed in his casket my personal check for the full $100,000.” (From Sins We Love, by Randy Rowland, p. 125-126) This story illustrates that inside each of us, there is a tendency toward greed.
2. Matthew 6.22-23
a. Context of Money – 6.19-21
b. Dealing with attitude – 6.24ff
I. The Role of the Eyes
A. Good Actions Can Begin with the Eyes –
1. Serving – Matthew 25.44
2. Sharing – John 4.35
3. Avoiding Problems – Lot’s Wife
B. Evil Actions Can Begin with Eyes
Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle’s license plate still attached to the bumper. // (Location Unknown): A man walked into a Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled-- leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars.
1. Garden of Eden – Eve saw that the tree was good for food/delight to eyes (Genesis 3.6)
2. “Thou shalt not covet. . . “
3. GREEK PROVERB: "As rust corrupts iron, so envy corrupts man"
4. "What causes wars, and what causes fights among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." James 4:1-3
II. The Right Eye – “Good Eye” – Idiom is Generous (could be Good/Sound/Single)
There was a monk who found a precious stone. He put it in his bag and carried it around with him. One day he was sharing his provisions with a traveler and the man saw the jewel in his bag. On impulse, he asked if he could have it and monk gladly gave it to him. The traveler quickly left, overjoyed at his great fortune.
A few days later, however, the man sought the monk out. He returned the stone and said, “I don’t really want the stone. I want something much more valuable. I want whatever it was that enabled you to give it to me so freely.”