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God’s Word for You

Luke 8:16-17 Be a lamp and shine

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, March 12, 2018

16 “No one lights a lamp and covers it with a vessel, 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 revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

Jesus has just said that the parables weren’t for everyone’s ears. They were intentionally taught in such a way that a believer can understand and benefit from a parable, but an unbeliever will not: “though hearing, they may not understand” (verse 10). Here in the Parable of the Lamp,  Jesus uses an ordinary act, lighting a lamp, and he describes it in a manner we would call an axiom: “No one lights a lamp and then covers it up.” Instead, a light that’s been lit is set where it will do some good. What is the light? It’s the Christian who’s been taught by Christ. This is such a simple parable to understand that it’s one of the first songs we teach to our children:

This little gospel light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine…

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine…

But there is another side to this: “There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.” It’s the nature of things that the truth comes out, if not now, then later. Oh, certain mysteries might go unsolved, but for the most part, everything a person might try to hide is revealed in the end. It’s amazing what is learned about a person in the hours and days following their death. All of a sudden, especially as their debts are reckoned with by the family, all sorts of secrets are brought to light.

The idea of bringing to light hidden things applies to all sorts of things including nature and the sciences, but it’s especially true of spiritual things. God has hidden tremendous truths in his holy word for us to discover and share. Some of them are clear to almost everyone; others are clear only to a few. They are the doctrines and applications of the Bible. These things are not always evident to every reader, but they are brought to light through study and through preaching.

The important application for the Christian here is that we ourselves are the lamps who have been lit by Jesus. We bring to light the teachings of the Bible, especially the law which crushes sinners and the gospel which soothes the crushed. One of my seminary professors said: “Let Christ’s words, ‘that they may see the light,’ become a motto to urge you on to use every available opportunity to teach all who will listen to see the light of eternal salvation in the words and works of Jesus” (Martin Westerhaus).

Be a lamp, and shine.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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