Shine the Light-Luke 8:16-21

Luke 8:16-21 “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. 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 he thinks he has will be taken from him.”19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

Luca 8:16-21 «Nessuno, accesa una lampada, la copre con un vaso o la mette sotto il letto; anzi la mette sul candeliere, perché chi entra veda la luce. 17 Poiché non c’è nulla di nascosto che non debba manifestarsi, né di segreto che non debba essere conosciuto e venire alla luce. 18 Attenti dunque a come ascoltate: perché a chi ha, sarà dato, ma a chi non ha, anche quello che pensa di avere gli sarà tolto». 19 Sua madre e i suoi fratelli vennero a trovarlo, ma non potevano avvicinarlo a motivo della folla. 20 Gli fu riferito: «Tua madre e i tuoi fratelli sono là fuori e vogliono vederti». 21 Ma egli rispose loro: «Mia madre e i miei fratelli sono quelli che ascoltano la parola di Dio e la mettono in pratica».

This short parable and subsequent visit from the family of Jesus follows His teaching on the sower and the seed (Luke 8:4-15). They are the practical applications of the parable and revolve around putting on display the light that has been shown and to understand the implication for those who obey and those who don’t. Why would anyone light a lamp just to hide it? Jesus picks up this same theme in Luke 11:33-36 with additional details that the eye is the lamp of the body. When a person is given the light of the Gospel or receives the seed of the Word of God, he must put it to use or it will be snatched away either by the devil, by the lack of the root of commitment or by the attraction of the world. Verse 18 says to “consider carefully how you listen.” If someone hears the Good News, the light of truth begins to grow in them and they will receive more truth. If they refuse, the light will grow dim and eventually go out.

The visit from Jesus’ family underscores this teaching in another way. Jesus amplifies this by the statement that His family consisted of much more than just blood relatives; like the first parable of the lamp, those who “hear God’s Word and put it into practice” are part of God’s family. It is very intentional that Jesus teaches this in the midst of religious Jews and non-religious Gentiles. Membership in God’s family is not based on blood line, race or any other human distinction.

James, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote about Jesus’ same admonition to listen and obey: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25.

Pray with me: Lord, I am reminded today that as a member of Your great family, I must do my part to shine the light of Your Gospel wherever I go. Help me to hear Your Word and put it into practice each day.

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