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Friday, August 16, 2019

Do you have a Good Eye or a Bad Eye?

What does it mean to have a good eye, or a bad eye? Yeshua the Messiah answered this very question; and the answer has everything to do with whether we are in the Light or in Darkness.  Yeshua said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matt. 6:22-23). Still this doesn't explain what is a good eye or what it means to have a bad eye.  Most people today think this has some kind of supersistious principle, as in giving someone the "evil eye"; but that is not at all what this expression is about.  In order to understand what Messiah Yeshua is asking us; we need to understand the culture behind this expression.

Dr. David Stern, a foremost Messianic Jewish scholar explains: "The eye is the lamp of the body." Apparently Yeshua quotes a common proverb and comments on it. If you have a "good eye." This is in the Greek text, but the explanation, that is, if you are generous, is added by me the translator because in Judaism "having a good eye," an 'ayin tovah, means "being generous," and "having a bad eye," an 'ayin ra'ah, means "being stingy." That this is the correct interpretation is confirmed by the context, greed and anxiety about money being the topic in both the preceding and following verses."

So to look at this in "context" we do see what Stern is talking about.  The pesukim preceding 22-23 speak about money:

...19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[c] destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6:19-21).

Then again we see the same theme in the pesuk following verses 22-23:

...24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt. 6:24).

Obviously, a good eye, or a bad eye simply means you are either generous, or you are stingy.  Why interpret it any other way?

The point Yeshua is making is if you have a bad eye, you, your soul; is full of darkness!  But if you are a generous person, (i.e. having a good eye), then you are in the Light, and your soul is full of light.  Who doesn't want to be in the light with Yeshua?

One of the main characteristics of the righteous is that they are generous, they are givers, not takers.  Nor are they controlled by money, they cannot be bribed!

Infact in Hebrew, the word for righteousness is Tzedakah צדקה
A good definition for tzedakah can be found here: Tzedakah Definition

As you can see from the definition, the greatest Tzadik was Yeshua Himself.  But we are called to be as He is, and He said our righteousness must surpass even that of the P'rushim.  In order for that to happen, we definitely need the Ruach Hakodesh to change us and give us a "Good Eye".

In a couple of weeks, our congregation will once again have a 5th Shabbat on Aug. 31st.  For years, we have been setting aside those days and all donations on those days to be made "Holy" for the building fund.  This has been a huge blessing as it has provided us a way to finally move into our own place of worship and establish Cleveland's first ever, permanent Messianic Synagogue.

However, repairs are needed, new equipment is needed and we need a new Parking Lot!  The goal for this coming 5th Shabbat is $4,000.00

If everyone in our community who loves and cares for this ministry will give "Above and Beyond their Regular Tithes) for this special offering; not only will the need be met, but your righteousness will be evident to Hashem!  We will all be demonstrating to our Abba, that we, like Him, all have a Good Eye.

Please prepare now, pray and ask Hashem what you should do on 8-31-19.


Rabbi Eric