“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” - Luke 8:16-18
It’s amazing to me what happens when we start to read the Bible deeply and pay attention to the order of each story and scripture. In Luke 8:1-15, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. Seed is sown in different places, and while some seed dies or is unable to grow, the seed that falls on good soil produces fruit.
Once Jesus is finished teaching, his disciples pull him aside and ask “Ummm.. what did that story mean?” Jesus explains that the seed is God’s word and while many hear, there are many things that keep the word from sticking in people’s hearts and producing fruit. Yet “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (v. 15). Jesus then immediately starts talking about light, and while that might seem like a strong pivot, he has a point.
Jesus wants our lives to shine forth His light to the world, something that can only happen when we hear the Word of God, hold fast to it, and produce fruit (i.e., do something about it). James 1: 22-25 says it this way: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
When we hear God’s word and it changes us, we get to experience more and more of the goodness of God. Yet if we refuse to hear, Jesus says “even what we think we have will be taken away.”
Are we hearing the word of God? Are we doing anything about it? Are we being the tangible love of God to the people in our lives? Are we sharing what we’ve learned with those around us, letting our light shine before others?
If we are, beautiful! Let’s continue to do so, letting our light lead others to Christ. And if we aren’t, let’s take a minute to pray and ask God to teach us how to obey. God is full of grace and desires our hearts to be good soil, to be light to a lost and hurting world, and he wants to soften and tend to our hearts until we begin to flourish.