Eye – Ayin

Since I’ve been writing about eyes and sight lately, I thought I’d share the Hebrew word for eye, which is עין (pronounced AH-yeen).

Matthew 6:22-23 literally reads: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is good, your whole body is full of light; but if your eye is evil your whole body is full of darkness…”

“If your eye is good” is a Hebrew saying that means, “if you are generous.” If a “good eye” speaks to generosity, what is an evil eye? Someone not knowing the Jewish background might suppose it is speaking of casting spells. But in Hebrew culture, having an “evil eye,” means being stingy – just like having a “good eye,” means being generous. Yeshua (Jesus) is warning against lack of generosity and nothing else. This fits the context perfectly: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also….You cannot serve both God and money.”

 

Nearsighted And Farsighted

I’m continuing to ponder the ways that we see others and ourselves. These are all thoughts that I have worked through over the years as I have wrestled with how to see myself and others–especially difficult people.

In the last few days, I have been thinking about being nearsighted and farsighted in how we see others and ourselves.
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How We See

I’ve learned a lot about Greek and Hebraic thinking in recent years. I know, I know, I have written about it quite a bit, but it really does affect many things, ranging from our belief about God and Scripture to life and to teaching a teenage son.  One aspect of Greek thinking is that two opposite things can’t both be true–if Thing A is true then Thing B is false. Greek thinking has resulted in many church debates and denominational splits over the centuries as people argue(d) about things like “Does God choose us OR do we choose God?” or “Is God sovereign OR do we have free will?” “They can’t both be true!” Hebrew thinking, on the other hand, believes that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our ways and there is room for mystery. Two seemingly opposite things can both be true. God chooses us AND we choose Him. God is sovereign AND we have free will. The Jews believe “these, also, are the words of God.”

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