SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Luke 8:16-18
The Parable of the Revealed Light
16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”
Memory Verse Luke 8:16 (NIV)
“NO ONE LIGHTS A LAMP AND HIDES IT IN A JAR OR PUTS IT UNDER A BED. INSTEAD HE PUTS IT ON A STAND SO THAT THOSE WHO COME IN CAN SEE THE LIGHT.”
In the last four editions of Spiritual Nourishment for Today we have tried to look at Jesus’ parable in Luke 8:4-15. We came to understand that Jesus was talking about how people respond to the gospel they hear. He first spoke in parables which nobody seemed to understand. But when his disciples approached him later and asked him what it meant, he took his time to explain to them. Jesus showed that the gospel which he preached was not an obscure one. It was a very simple message which could be understood by the people of his time. Jesus continued to throw further light on the parable and its meaning and how we should approach the gospel in Luke 8:16-18. In this edition we want to understand what Jesus said from Luke 8:16-18.
Jesus told the disciples immediately after explaining the parable that no one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. He puts it on a stand so that those who come in can see the light. This is another simple message with a deeper meaning than what is written or said. The light spoken of by Jesus is the Gospel light. Jesus meant to say that he did not preach the gospel in order to hide its meaning from his disciples. He spoke with meaning and expected them to understand, because no one lights a candle and puts it under a bed. When you put a lamp under a bed no one can see its light and benefit from it.
Jesus meant to tell the disciples and by extension all Christians that we should not hide the gospel we have received from others. We should always try to share the gospel with all those who come near us as well as those who are afar. The gospel we have received should not be hidden from other people who need the light to live and grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you withhold the gospel from those who need to hear it, you may be making it harder for them and yourself to be saved. This is because scripture has declared that faith comes by hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Romans 10:17). May we always be desirous of spreading the gospel in clear language which could be understood by all who listen to us!
Jesus also meant to say that the light of the gospel in us should shine out for all to see. This means that everyone who sees us or hears us should benefit from the light which is in us. According to Jesus, believers are the light of the world as recorded in Matthew 5:14-16. Jesus therefore admonishes all believers to let our light shine so that people may see our good works and glorify our father who is in heaven. This means that the light which is expected to shine from the believer does not only come from the preaching of the gospel; it also comes from living the gospel we preach. Therefore our words and our acts must conform to the gospel which we have received from and through Christ.
In relation to the need for the gospel, Jesus reiterated that there is nothing that is hidden which will not be revealed. He said this to mean that even though the gospel is hidden from some people, a time will come when it will be fully manifested for all to hear. The gospel of Jesus Christ should not be hidden from others because no one can hide it. Even if we decide not to spread the gospel, God can do it by himself. Those of us who have been told to spread the gospel should see it as a great privilege and do so with much joy and passion. It also means that no one can stop the gospel from entering where it needs to be heard. Even in the remotest and most dangerous places around the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ must be preached. It is indeed true that the gospel has travelled to most parts of the world. It is equally true that there are many other parts of the world the gospel should be preached. The onus lies on you and I to spread the gospel either directly through our preaching or indirectly through our deeds including financial assistance to those who preach the gospel. Even though God can spread the gospel whether we do it or not, he will brand us as disobedient if we fail to respond to the mandate given us by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 (The Great Commission).
It is important to remind ourselves that we cannot live or preach the gospel if we do not open our ears and hearts to listen to what Jesus has taught us. If we behave as if we know it and refuse to listen or study the gospel carefully we shall lose even the little we used to know. This also implies that if we fail to listen carefully and spread the gospel what we know will become useless in no time. But those who listen carefully to the gospel and desire to practice it will be aided by the Holy Spirit to increase in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that all of us will pay attention to the gospel, understand it and put it into practice for the glory of God!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.