Ephesians 1:17-19 (Berean Study Bible)
17 In order that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him. 18 I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe.
If you had to rank the importance of every part of the body in order, what would come first? The brain? The lungs? What about the heart and eyes?
The Bible mentions the terms ‘heart’ and ‘eye’ in a spiritual sense almost 1,200 times in the KJV translation. These aren’t just important parts of the body, they are the most important according to the Apostle Paul!
In the beginning verses of Ephesians, Paul uses a great analogy about opening the eyes of our hearts to better understand God’s teachings. Instead of just explaining the metaphor in blunt terms, Paul is making a very thoughtful analogy about the work of knowledge and love in the spiritual life of the Christian.
The heart is a picture of the gut-feeling part of faith, or the believing without seeing. Unlike the eye, we use our hearts to guide our emotional process in matters of, well, the heart. Loving one another, treating others with compassion, and sensing the presence of the Lord are all felt through our spiritual ‘heart.’ In contrast, the eye is the literal, tangible, physical entity that is used to gather knowledge about the world around us. We use the eye when we read through God's Word, or study His truth through books or sermons. Acquiring head knowledge is the number one job of this specific part.
It is important to note here that Paul does not say ‘the eyes and heart,’ or place one of the entities above the other. The eye is just as valuable as the heart is within the Christian life, serving both our physical and spiritual bodies in many ways. In fact, Paul asks Christ in verse 18 to enlighten “the eyes of our heart.” This has a huge meaning!
There is a great number of Christian hearts with no eyes, and an equally great number of Christian eyes with no heart. In our modern world, the faculties with which Christians feel and act in love are totally divorced from the faculty that helps us to gain revelatory knowledge and understanding of the Lord. But they are not to remain divorced. Our Father wants both of these things combined in us!
I often recall the famous song, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord / I want to see you.”
To fully grasp the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and the greatness of His power, believers can’t rely on only their hearts for emotional faith or their eyes for logical faith. Instead, we must come to the Cross with a mixture of both. With the eyes of our heart opened to the glory of the Lord, what wondrous things may He then teach us?
How have you responded to Paul’s encouragement to seek both head and heart knowledge through God’s Word? How does the promise of Christ’s blessing prompt your willingness to learn? The treasures of God’s wisdom and spiritual revelation are waiting for us in His open arms; all we need to do is open the eyes of our hearts.
Job 42:5 (NIV)
My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.