Wisdom Wednesday: The “Eye ” of the Wise Heart


The Eye of the Wise Heart

Guest Contribution submitted by Debbie’s Dad


“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,”

Ephesians 1:18


In this passage, Paul is describing his desire for the growth of the believers in the city of Ephesus. He used the expression, the “eyes of the heart” to refer to their ability to perceive and know spiritual truth- to know God personally. This parenthetical expression adds to the prior verse where he prays God will give them “…a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” This is a consistent theme as he prayed that believers across the churches would grow in the personal knowledge of God and His ways:

  • To the Colossians: “…walk worthy of the Lord ..and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (Col. 1:10)
  • To the Philippians: “ … your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and discernment …” (Philippians 1:9)

Similarly, Peter prayed for new believers to grow in their knowledge:

  • II Peter 1:2 “…Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord..”
  • II Peter 3:18 “… but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ …”

The expression “eyes of the heart,” used by Paul in the Ephesians passage, is the only use of this expression in the New Testament. But Jesus used similar imagery in Matt 6: 22-23 when he spoke to the Pharisees about their spiritual problem: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” The similarity is clear:

  • If you see clearly then the things, you do in your body will be illuminated
  • But, if your eyes are blinded, then you will live in darkness

The context of Jesus’ message was the greed of supposed spiritual men – their heart was focused on treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19-21) because their eyes were blinded by earthly things that resulting in their heart to be living in darkness.  Jesus concluded they could not serve their desire for wealth and God (verse 24).

In Romans 1:21 Paul used similar imagery to describe people who rejected God with the result being a foolish heart that was darkened:

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools …, (Rom. 1:21)

Living in spiritual light requires the eyes to be clear (perceiving the truth) and our heart illuminated (to know God in a personal way); this is the path to wise living as we have seen in previous articles.  How do we assure the eyes of heart are clear and illuminated? By serving one Master, the Savior of our soul.

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