Google+ 12/03/12 Where is Your Lamp?

Luke 8:16-18

 

Parable of the Lamp

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed.

A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open,

and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

“So pay attention to how you hear.

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given.

But for those who are not listening,

even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” 

 

Of all the parables, this is one of the shortest and most powerful.  There are 39 parables in the Bible.  They reside in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  Only 7 parables reside in all three chapters.  This is one of them.  There is no dissension in the rank of Bible scholars about who the author of the third gospel is.  Accurate Bible scholars will also attach the third Gospel to its companion volume, which is the book of Acts.  Yes, both are written by Luke.  It is important for us to make this connection, because it helps us determine the historical timeframe of the book of Luke.  Acts1:1 implies that Luke wrote his Gospel prior to writing Acts.  The book of Acts ends with Paul in prison around 62 A.D.  This would accurately put the writing of Luke's Gospel around 60-62 A.D.  There are some very interesting facts about Luke's Gospel.  As we know, Luke was a very learned physician.  To this end, Luke uses 266 words (not counting proper names) that are found nowhere else in the New Testament.  If Luke was a Gentile, as many believe, he certainly knew and loved the Old Testament.  Secondly, the Gospel of Luke is extremely accurate as it applies to worldly history.  Luke seemed to have a grasp on little-known facts of the period that when tested, proved to be accurate every time.  Lastly, Luke is focused on the overwhelming work of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, while still dealing with numerous individuals and their personal struggles and triumphs (Mary mother of Jesus, Mary, Martha, Zechariah, Elisabeth, and Zaccheus to name a few).  Why is all this important to us in today's world?  We are in a time of extreme questioning.  Many feel the Bible is no longer relevant to their daily lives in the 21st century.  Many have stopped going to church or listening to the teachings of Jesus at all.  Ok, all you skeptics out there, listen to this one!!  Luke tells us that no one lights a lamp to cover it up.  That would just be ridiculous.  Then Luke "drops the bomb" of the story.  Whatever you are covering up and keeping in secret, will come out!  I have preached this often.  The reason we question our relationships with some people is because things come out of their mouth that don't seem to be in keeping with who they say they are.  Their behavior lacks consistency in Christ.  Another way to put this is that if you are angry, you will not be able to cover the anger forever.  It will come out.  We see this often in people.  Extreme anger comes out of people for no apparent reason. In the world, we refer to an event that "triggers" this emotion.    In a moment, selfishness, jealousy, envy, and rage rear their ugly heads and betray our outward "godliness."  Want proof?  Read the last part of our Scripture today.  If you are prone to anger and making the statement "it isn't fair,"  you will probably do just that when you read what Luke says to conclude our lesson today.  Luke explains that to those who listen, more understanding will be given.  Luke also states that to those that don't listen, even the things they think they understand will be taken away from them.  Wow!  Let me reference what I said earlier.  Luke is a physician, trained in the sciences.  Luke is analytical by his very nature.  The parable of the Lamp is found in all three Gospels.  Luke's analytical and spiritual conclusion is clear.  Listen to the teachings of Jesus.  Let your light shine.  Don't cover it up.  Don't let anyone else cover it up either!  If you listen, you will be given even more understanding.  If you don't, even the knowledge you think you have will pass away.   Listen to God.  He's speaking today.  If your lamp is out today, light it right now.  If it is on, uncover it and put it on the lamp stand for all to see.  If your lamp is already brightly shining, listen to God today.  He is about to teach you something even more important.  God, Luke, and I are asking you today, "Where is your Lamp and what are you doing with it?"