“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)
In the context of Luke 8:16-18, there was this emphasis on ‘how you hear’.
It does refer to our personal receptivity. But more than that, what we do with what we have heard.
Jesus draws that conclusion right after His Parable of the Sower.
The fruitful, bountiful man in that figure of speech was the person who applies what he heard from Jesus.
What we learn from Jesus and what we apply in life will influence our relationship with Jesus.
Are we moving closer to Jesus or moving away.
Means to say, a person who is not fruitful and bountiful in his relationship with Jesus have had difficulties listening to what Jesus was saying to him.
The person who does not apply what he heard from Jesus will also have difficulties deepening his relationship with Jesus.
It’s like sending a student to a top school for education, if that student do not apply what he learn – don’t expect any results.
The “input” and “receptivity” are important, but what is even more important is the “application”.
Eventually the student who does not apply what he learns – loses what he learned.
Like a doctor who loses his license to practice because he is not a practicing doctor.
Looking at the public ministry of Jesus, there were multitudes of people who came to hear the Gospel.
Compare to the multitudes who were receptive, there were fewer disciples who deepen their relationship with Jesus.
So how far can a Man go with Jesus, depends on our receptivity plus application on what we learn from Jesus.
What does that means?
The lack of application can make a man loose his relationship with Jesus.
The lack of application can make a person become cold in relating to Jesus.
In the Parable of the Sower, that was how those who did not bear fruits remain unfruitful.
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”(Luke 11:33-36)
In this figure of speech in Luke 11:33-36, again Jesus made the same reference to a lamp on a lamp-stand, but this time with specific reference to our human eyes.
Human-perception and our point of view
Life is full of choices and decision makings, and that can be a real test of our sense of judgement, our human-perception and our point of view.
In this context of Luke 11, Jesus healed a man of speech impairment. But instead of heart-felt gratitude and giving praise to God, there were people who accuse Jesus of casting out demon by demonic powers.
Jesus recognized the intentions of their hearts.
There were important reasons why Jesus had to label them as “a wicked generation” Luke 11:29.
No doubt people have their rights to freedom of speech but why would Jesus judge them as “a wicked generation”?
I believe Jesus was addressing a form of corrupted human-perception.
This corrupted human-perception can be better explained from an Old Testament text –
‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.’ (Isaiah 5:20)
People who knowingly and deliberately distort truth and goodness – corrupted human-perception
In the context of Luke 11, it was not the first time Jesus had done good deeds with miraculous healing.
Those who witnessed the healing power of God had seen other examples as well.
Therefore it was a situation whereby people who knew the truth and reality of what good Jesus had done, but deliberately distort truth to discredit Jesus.
Therefore Jesus addressed them as “a wicked generation”.
Relationship can be built or broken based on opinions.
In the context of Luke 11, Jesus was upset with people who intentionally refuse to practice that which is good and to the extent of inducing corrupted views and opinion against the good deeds of God’s salvation plan.
In the days of Jesus’ public ministry, He was a bright shining light showing people the way to peace and blessing with God.
The light and truth of Jesus’ words and teaching exposed to us the hidden secrets of our own hearts.
Whatever we heard from Jesus, eventually we receive or reject, we apply or discard.
Our application of Jesus’ teaching
is our key to retaining the light and truth of Jesus in our hearts
Of course there were different responses to what Jesus said.
People reacted differently. But one thing for sure
Light produces light
Darkness hide darkness
Disciples of Jesus who continues to apply what they learn from Jesus continue to reproduce the light and truth of God’s word here on Earth.
In our active relationship with Jesus, we walk in the light of God’s truth and we see where we are going – the kingdom of God and eternity with Jesus.
In continuing application of the teaching of Jesus, we deepen our relationship with Jesus.
In fine-tuning our human-perception, opinions and point of view to agree with Jesus, we stay on track with the promises and blessing of God’s salvation plan.
When we agree and apply the teachings of Jesus, we let the light of Jesus shine on a lamp-stand.
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