1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father…
The eye is the portal of innumerable delights. It is "the meeting place of many worlds." Through it there stream in upon the mind the vision of beauty, the revelation of sciences, the pomp and pageantry of earthly power, all the bright, shifting splendour of human glory. Have you ever considered that riches appeal mainly to the eye? It is the eye which interprets to a man the stateliness of the house which he has built, the beauty of the gardens which he has laid out, the picture's charm, the statue's grace, the horse's symmetry — in a word, all those costly embellishments with which wealth can adorn life. To the blind man they are nothing. To be blind is to lose almost everything that riches can bestow. Yet, says John, the lust of the eyes, too, is a fading passion which is soon satiated. The first house a man buys looks better and bigger to him than any house he owns afterwards. The first picture a man owns brings him more genuine pleasure than all the others put together. That lust of the eye which desires to add house to house and land to land has a lessening pleasure in its acquisitions. Like the lust of the flesh, after all it is a life of sensation, and all sensation is limited and soon exhausted. You, perhaps, have set your hope in some such direction as this. You desire to be rich; your eye lusts for the luxurious abodes of wealth and the circumstance and state of social greatness. When the lust of the flesh fails, the lust of the eye often develops; and the man who has lost the one frantically tries to recoup himself by flying to the other. But it is vain. The miseries of the idle rich, their ennui, their listlessness, their discontent, their imbecile thirst for new sensations, their perpetual invention of new and artificial joys, remind us how true are the words of John, that the lust of the eyes, too, passes away.
(W. J. Dawson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.