Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughts on Luke 8:16-25

A Lamp on a Stand (Luke 8:16-18)
“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.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 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.”

It should be pretty obvious that no one would light a lamp and then hide the light it brings.  For one, that's a fire hazard!  If you hide a light, then what good is the light?  No good! None whatsoever!  That's why lights are put up so that people can see by it.  The light reveals everything that was once hidden in the dark.  Think about it.  If you're in the dark, you can't see everything around you. You kind of have an idea of where stuff may be, but you can't see it.  When you have even a little light, like a flashlight or a cell phone, you can see more things that you couldn't see before.

Jesus is the light of the world.  When he came to this world, we brought light to the darkness.  He opened our eyes so that we could see everything that was around us.  The world hates that Jesus came.  They hate that he has revealed our sins.  They don't want forgiveness.  That would mean admitting their weakness, their guilt, their need for something from someone else.  Our world hates that so much.  Jesus has already begun bringing a light to all that was dark.  He has begun revealing what was hidden.

Now, in the context of the Scriptures, he says that we should listen carefully and consider what we do with what we've heard.  Yesterday, I talked about the sower.  Good seeds falling on different soils have different results.  If we take what we are given, chew on it, absorb it, live it, we will be given more.  If we do nothing with it, then it will simply be taken away.

Lord, reveal to me what I have hidden and kept secret.  While it may be hidden from and secret to the world (and even me!), it is well known to you.  Lord, help me to face it and claim the victory that you have already won over it.

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

This seems kind of out of place after what we have just been talking about, but Luke put it in here, so we'll talk briefly about it.  It may surprise some to think that Jesus had brothers, but he did.  Yes, Jesus was born from a virgin, but she was married.  After Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph had other children.  These would be Jesus' half-brothers.  At any rate, they are wanting to see Jesus.  Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are waiting and he says that his mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice.  It could be easily taken as a slap at his family, but that's not the point.  He is telling us that anyone can be a part of the family of God, if they are willing to really hear God's word and put it into practice.

Lord, let your Word find its way deep into my heart.  May it take firm root and grow.  Jesus, help me to understand your word better that I might live it out.

Jesus Calms the Storm (Luke 8:22-25)
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Now we go from Jesus teaching to crossing to the other side of the lake.  They are in a boat and are out there for awhile, because Jesus has fallen asleep and a storm has really gotten going.  It must have been calmer when they first got out on the lake.  I mean, who in their right mind sets out on the lake when a bad storm is going on?  No one!  So, this storm that developed got bad.  It was so bad, the boat was getting swamped with water.  Luke even says that they were all in great danger.  So, the disciples go and wake Jesus up.  This freaks me out.  Jesus was asleep in the midst of this storm!  I have trouble sleeping through storms and I'm on dry land!  Yet there he was, sleeping through this terrible storm!  When Jesus wakes up, he goes and calms the wind and the waters.  The storm goes away and all is calm again.  Then he asks his disciples where their faith was.

Wow.  Why does Jesus ask this of them?  Is it possible that they too could have rebuked the storm if they had the faith?  I think the answer is yes.  That begs the question, what can we do if we have faith?  Maybe the better question is what can't we do if we have faith? Father, increase my faith!

My prayer for you today is that the Holy Spirit would prepare your heart to receive the Word of God.  My prayer is that when you hear the Word, it will take root and grow within you.  My prayer is that you will obey the Word in your life, your words, and actions.  My prayer is that your faith will increase and that you will show the light and love of Christ to the world.

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