Luke 8:16-21


16 “Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light.

Luke seems to blend in multiple sayings of Jesus here, because there doesn’t seem to be much cohesion in this section. I think I prefer Matthew’s writing style.

The idea of the lamp is to illuminate the darkness. So it is with the life of the Christian. Illumination is not something the lamp does by actively working for it. It is something a lamp does by its nature. The reaction of the heat and the oil or the electricity, the wiring, and the light bulb produces light by design.

Our lives should be such that by our very nature, we show others the Way in which it is best to live.

Being light is not being someone’s conscience. It is that by the way in which we live our lives, others will see the benefits of following Christ’s example, even if we never say a word.

17 For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

And another part of being a light is that in doing so, we expose the corruption of our culture.

This corruption extends really into every level, be it personal, within our churches, within our commerce, and within our governments. It extends beyond the traditional areas that Christians are generally concerned about into other places where we tend to wink at it.

Places like our national ethos, places like our economic system, places like our views on our fellow man and our world.

It extends into our own lives and maybe the lives of our families.

If we are tacitly accepting the culture of self in our lives, we are not being lights.

18 So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”

The message here is not simply to listen to the words of Christ, but to carefully consider them and act upon them. Reflecting back to the parable of the sower, those who had the Word of God, but hardened their hearts against Him lost the opportunity to be fruitful to others. The lost the opportunity to have real life, a life worth living.

19 And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” 21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Mary and the Lord’s (brothers/step-brothers/cousins) arrive to speak with Him. Elsewhere, it was said that they were concerned about Him. His schedule, some of the things He said, and growing list of people who hated Him were disconcerting to His family. So they come to see Him, but He is surrounded by such a large crowd that they find it impossible to enter the house He’s staying at. So they send word in that they’re outside.

Jesus response would have been shocking in that culture where family was everything. To deny one’s family was shocking and scandalous.

But the point isn’t that Jesus is denying His familial relations, but that the relationships that are supposed to be formed by Christians are to be stronger than those formed naturally by blood. Often they’re not, but supposedly we should literally be like brothers, sisters, fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters to each other. That sort of love where we try to think the best of each other, do things that the other would like, have some regard for one another’s feelings, and always stick by one another, that should be the church.

And if they’re not, how much of that goes back to the corruption we tolerate within our personal sphere: the culture of self?

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