CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE “SINGLE” EYE AND THE “EVIL” EYE?
by Shawn Brasseaux
We find this contrast twice in Scripture:
- Matthew 6:22-23: “ The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
- Luke 11:34-36: “ The 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.  Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.  If 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.”
The “light” can be understood as a lamp. Through the physical eye, the physical body is aware of its surroundings. If we take this and apply it to the spiritual realm, we understand the spiritual eye allows the spiritual body to be aware of its environment. The “single eye” refers to a clear eye that has one image in view as opposed to double vision. It is good because it sees reality instead of an illusion. The single eye sees truth. On the other hand, the “evil eye” is the bad or deceived eye. It is not focused on one image but a combination of images, which is nothing but error, fleshliness (carnality), and worldliness. Such vision—as in the physical world, so in the spiritual world—will lead to confusion and disorientation.
We find two other references to the “evil eye” in Scripture. One is Matthew 20:15: “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” The other is Mark 7:22, the “evil eye” being one of the sins proceeding from man’s wicked heart: “Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:….” If you read the context of the Matthew verse, you will see the “evil eye” refers to materialism (greediness, envy). Also, see Matthew 6:19-34, which is the context of the verse cited at the beginning of this study. It too issues the following warning: no one can serve God and mammon (wealth deified or idolized).
By mentioning the “single” eye and the “evil” eye, the Lord Jesus Christ advises Israel to receive the spiritual light He is providing them during His earthly ministry. Remember, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:105,130). However, apostate Israel is in unbelief, and is content to be in spiritual darkness. Satan’s evil world system has distracted them from the truth, God’s words to them. They refuse to hear, see, and believe. This is applicable not only to the nation Israel as a whole, but also individual Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah/Christ. They failed to appreciate Him because they were notthinking properly. Consequently, they murdered Him on Calvary’s cross!
While not written to or about us, the doctrine contained herein is transdispensational. It is true in any and every age, for Satan’s policy of evil is always designed to sidetrack people from listening to and believing God’s revelation to them. Brethren, may we have a “single” eye in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God—rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15), understanding the Apostle Paul is Jesus Christ’s spokesman to us (Romans 11:13), heeding and trusting Romans through Philemon. Otherwise, we have an “evil” eye…and darkness…and confusion…and disorientation…and Christendom (Christendumb)!