Summary Matthew 6:22-23


In the Old Testament, an “evil eye” was a metaphor for being stingy or covetous (see Deuteronomy 15:9; 28:54-56; Proverbs 23:1-7; 28:22). Unfortunately there is little commentary on this passage within the ANF, apart from a fragment On the Gospel of Matthew which is considered a spurious writing, attributed to GREGORY THAUMATURGUS. (1) 

“For the light of the body is the eye,” says the Scripture, by which the interior illuminated by the shining light appears. 

To see God belongs to the pure heart, out of which no longer proceeds an “evil eye” (ORIGEN).

“The single eye is the love unfeigned; for when the body is enlightened by it, it sets forth through the medium of the outer members only things which are perfectly correspondent with the inner thoughts. But the evil eye is the pretended love, which is also called hypocrisy, by which the whole body of the man is made darkness. We have to consider that deeds meet only for darkness may be within the man, while through the outer members he may produce words that seem to be of the light: for there are those who are in reality wolves, though they may be covered with sheep’s clothing. Such are they who wash only the outside of the cup and platter, and do not understand that, unless the inside of these things is cleansed, the outside itself cannot be made pure. Wherefore, in manifest confutation of such persons, the Savior says: “If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” That is to say, if the love which seems to thee to be light is really a work meet for darkness, by reason of some hypocrisy concealed in thee, what must be thy patent transgressions!” (GREGORY THAUMATURGUS - ANF 6.74)

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