29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
33"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you." (NIV)
1. Jesus' miracles are meant to draw attention to his Lordship and mission (i.e. death and resurrection) and, ultimately, to bring about repentance. People who disregard His authority, and who demand more miracles from him instead, will be condemned in the last day (vv. 29-32).
Luke 10:13 - Jesus condemns towns who do not repent as a result of His miracles.
In part, miracles demonstrated His compassion, but primarily they were intended to show everyone that He had the authority and power to be declared the Son of God (Lk 19: 36-38; Jn 10: 25, 32, 38; Jn 14:11; 15:24; Ac 2:22). His death and resurrection was the ultimate and greatest sign to communicate this (Mt 12:40; Rom 1:1-4).
Therefore, Jesus condemns as adulterous all who insist upon more signs (Mt 12:38-45; Mk 8:11-12; Lk 11:16, 29) because such people are treating him as a clever magician or wonder-worker who can deliver at their beck and call. In short, they are asserting their own authority and denying the authority that He has over them.
How do we show, by contrast, that we have turned away from sin and bowed to Christ's authority? By listening to his teaching, just as the Queen of Sheba listened to Solomon (v.31; 1 Ki 10:1-10) and the Ninevites listened to Jonah (v. 32; Jon 3:1-10).
Application: Serious Christians will take Jesus' words seriously, and change their hearts and lives accordingly.
2. There will be a resurrection of the living and the dead (vv. 31-32).
When the Lord speaks of how the "Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them", and how "the men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it", He is not speaking figuratively, but is referring to the coming resurrection of the living and the dead (Ac 17:30-31; Rev 20:11-15), where those who have trusted in Christ's lordship will be formally accepted into God's kingdom, and those who have rejected it will be condemned forever.
Application: God's judgment is sure. As we present the gospel to others, may He give us the grace to speak seriously of this certainty.
3. Jesus' teaching is not hidden, but available for all to see (v. 33).
The "lamp" Jesus speaks of here is His own person - He has not concealed Himself but has completely revealed Himself to all humanity (Jn 1:10-14). He calls himself "the light of the world" (Jn 8:12; 9:5).
Application: No one can say that God has not spoken to humanity, for He clearly has in Christ.
4. We must be careful to receive what Jesus has revealed (vv. 34-36).
While in v. 33, Jesus spoke of Himself as a lamp, in the remaining verses He refers the lamp we have - our eyes - and how they are responsible to receive the light that comes from Christ in order that our entire being may be full of light. In this context, Jesus is really using the image of our "eyes" to refer to our minds and hearts.
Application: Let us examine ourselves - do we see Christ for who He truly is? Or is our view of Him skewed?
Discussion Question: What misconceptions may we have about Jesus, and how does this passage help to correct them?