16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” (Luke 8:16-18) NIV
When I first read through this section of Luke, it seemed to have nothing to do with what Jesus had just been talking about in the previous chapters—the parable of the sower. He was telling them about the word of God and how some hear it but the devil snatches it away so they don’t believe. Others hear it but it never takes root in their lives. Some hear and let life’s worries get in the way of experiencing the freedom it brings. Thankfully, some hear it, believe it, take it to heart, and persevere through life knowing God’s love for them.
I realized these verses have everything to do with spreading the word of God! The verses speak to me of illumination. Now, illumination has several meanings. It can mean to provide a means to see: 16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” But it can also mean to reveal, or make known. 17 “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Jesus was teaching his disciples about the importance of sharing with others what he was teaching them. He didn’t want them to hide it, what good would that do? His words are meant to teach, rebuke, correct, and train (2 Tim 3:16). He wanted them to intently, purposefully listen and then to spread the good news he was revealing to them.
Many people followed Jesus and many heard his parables–but not all understood. Sometimes this was done on purpose. The Pharisees were always trying to trip him up by questioning his words. They were so intent upon listening to his words, they totally missed their meaning. But Jesus made sure those who sought to know the meaning understood what he was saying.
I think we could take these words as a warning to us today as well. As the world becomes less and less tolerant of Christianity, it is more important than ever to memorize scripture. When we plant it in our hearts, it is ours to keep and no one can take it away from us. We can draw upon it anytime, at any place, even when our bible is not within our reach. Because of the investment we made in memorizing His word, our spoken words may be the only way people in the future will ever see the light. “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have may be taken from them.”
Lord, I am so thankful for your word and for all You have taught me through it. May it continue to light my way as I follow you. I want to stand as a light on a lampstand reflecting your light for all to see. Let me draw from what is inside of me like water from a well so others will know the living water you give us. In Jesus name, Amen.