Luke 8:16-18 (NIV) 16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar 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 disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”
On verses 16-18: After telling a parable about the importance of having a hungry, humble heart when listening to God’s word (verses 1-15), what is Jesus talking about in verses 16-18? When Jesus says in verse 18, “Thereforeconsider carefully how you listen”, this suggests to me that verses 16, 17 and 18 are also talking about how to listen to God’s word.
Verse 16 suggests to me that listening to God’s word means that we don’t just hear God’s word and then hide it away (“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed”). Rather listening to God’s word means that we put it into practice and make use of it in our own lives (like taking a lamp and putting it on its stand so it lights up your home/life). Listening to God’s word also means sharing it with others, living in such a way that those who come close to you can naturally sense the light of God’s word in your life (“so that those who come in can see the light.”)
Verse 17 suggests to me that if you come to God with a hungry, humble heart, God is willing to disclose to you the “secrets of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:10). When your heart is hungry and humble before God, eventually “there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out in the open”.
Verse 18 suggests to me that when you treasure the word from God that you have received by applying it, making use of it, and sharing it with others, God will show you even more in His word (“Whoever has will be given more”). But if you don’t treasure the word that God speaks to you (i.e. you don’t make use of it, don’t apply it, don’t share it with others), then the power of that word will be lost on you (“even what he thinks he has will be taken from him”).
Luke 8:19-21 (NIV) 19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
On verses 19-21: Here Jesus is not discounting the importance of immediate family. Rather, Jesus was saying that when you hear God’s word and put it into practice, you show yourself to be a member of Jesus’ family (a child of God and a baby sibling of Jesus), just as how family members tend to resemble each other.
Luke 8:22-25 (NIV) 22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 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. 24 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. 25 “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.”
On verses 22-25: Clearly Luke describes Jesus as being far more than a good person, a good teacher or even a healer. With a word Jesus could calm a squall (a strong storm). The winds and the waves would obey his commands.
Also, whenever you’re in a storm and you think you’re going to drown, have faith that the One who is in the boat with you is greater than the storm around you. When you have Jesus in your boat (i.e. when you have Jesus in your life), you will still face storms, but in the end Jesus will not let you be harmed by the storms you face. Rather God will use the storms you go through to show His power through your life.
Lord Jesus, I pray that I would not just hear Your word, but put it into practice and share it with others. Like the wind and the waves, may I too be obedient to Your word. Also, thank You for being with me in every storm I go through and for being my protector and deliverer. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!