The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling…
The eyes of your heart being enlightened.
I. THIS IS A SINGULAR EXPRESSION. Yet it is true in philosophy and true in life, as well as consistent with Biblical language. Scripture speaks of applying our hearts unto wisdom (Psalm 90:12), and of "the understanding of the heart" (Luke 1:51).
II. THE HEART POWERFULLY INFLUENCES THE UNDERSTANDING. Larochefoucauld says, after his own cynical manner, "The head is the dupe of the heart." There is often undoubtedly a divided interest in the soul of man, where two powers are fighting for the mastery. Coleridge said, at a certain point in his speculative career, "My head was with Spinoza, while my heart was with Paul and John." Scripture is most emphatic in marking the connection between knowledge and holiness. We "grow in grace and in knowledge" together, the two growths not hindering but helping each other. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Purity of heart gives the insight. And purity of heart rather than accuracy of thought, is the order of the kingdom. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God" (John 7:17). How often do we find in human life that interest, vanity, fear, party spirit, determine the conclusions of the intellect! Our opinions often depend upon our lives quite as much as our lives depend upon our opinions. Fichte says that our system of thought is often no more than the history of our hearts. Our judgment is often swayed by our affections.
III. IT IS GOD WHO GIVES THE INSIGHT. "The eyes of your heart being enlightened." It is God who "hath given us an understanding to know him that is true" (1 John 5:20); not a new faculty, but a new quickness or insight; for "unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). It is God who "giveth the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus" (2 Corinthians 4:6). We are "not able of ourselves to think a good thought" (2 Corinthians 3:5), and our highest knowledge is a Divine gift. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God" (Luke 8:10). It ought, therefore, to be the prayer of every Christian, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of thy Law;" and we are encouraged in our supplication by the knowledge that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,