“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.”
Luke 8:16-18 (NIV)
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar…
Scriptures say that we are clay jars. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says that ‘this treasure is hidden in clay jars’. The Bible also says that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching the innermost parts of the belly (Proverbs 20:27). The truth of the nature of God’s dealings with us is that, whatever He gives us within (that is, the light of the truth) is what becomes a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. The entrance of His word gives light, and gives understanding. When light comes on — understanding, knowledge, illumination, revelation — it is not meant to be hidden in your [‘clay jar’] body; it is not meant to stay within you, neither should it be put under a bed. A bed is for sleeping. Whatever God deposits in you is not supposed to be oppressed with sleep, it is not supposed to be overcome by lethargy and laziness. That is not the place where you should put the light of the truth. We are not supposed to wrap it up and say ”It’s in my heart, God knows.” This is unacceptable. We should not let our weaknesses or our choices stop it [the light] from being seen. Instead, it is put on a stand — it’s called a lampstand. In the book of Revelation chapter 1, the Churches are referred to as lampstands. That which enables the light to be seen far and wide is a lampstand. That which lifts up the light, anything that results in the light shining out far is a lampstand. And those who come in are meant to see it; those who enter the place where that lamp is placed; those who get into the space, the sphere of influence and reach of that lamp are supposed to see it.
The bigger the light, the wider the outshining, and the further the reach of its rays. And the reason why this [going out, shining the light] is the only approach to use is that there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed.
This should be understood in two ways.
One way is this: if you are a child of God and you know these things, eventually it will be exposed — whether now, or in the age to come — that you knew these things. You cannot hide this forever, because there’s nothing that’s concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. It will have to come out. Were you a child of God or were you not? Did you know it [have knowledge], or were you ignorant of it? That will happen [everything will be exposed].
In Luke 12:47, the Bible says that the servant who knew his master’s will and did not do it will beaten severely, because it is not possible to hide [the fact] that you knew. The Master knows if you know His will. If you have illumination on a matter, if you are aware of certain knowledge, He knows.
God alone knows how many people know certain things and then act as though they don’t know it due to fear, cowardice, or laziness. They maintain the status quo, since the responsibility that comes with knowledge scares them. And the selfishness that is inherent in a typical person does not want to be pushed. It wants to protect its space.
The second way in which nothing that is hidden will stay hidden is the fact that judgment will bring it out; on judgment day it will come out.
Also, in some way, the typical person at some point even by the leading of God will be compelled to let out what they know. Now, this is the better version of what is ‘concealed’ being revealed. So, picture someone that has the gift of prophecy or prophetic revelation and who has seen or heard something and refuses to talk about it, and they are absolutely certain that what they have seen or heard came from God, and then, when something occurs, they now say, ”Oh! I knew this [would happen]…” or ”I had been shown this…”. Or even if they don’t say [that they had seen or been told about] it, that event that they were hiding or concealing is now revealed, it occurs. So the person then says, ”Oh! This person died,” [but he/she] had hidden the warning or the prophetic word about impending death. This does not mean you should tell people everything you see [about them], but if you were actually to say it, whether it happened or not, that hidden thing, that concealed thing, that thing hidden by you in your clay jar will happen [come out and be revealed] for all to see.
So picture the light in a room, unseen. If the light came out, it would have shone in the corner and revealed a missing coin, but it was hidden. Eventually, a day will come and that coin will be seen in the corner. A concealed thing will result in more concealment; because light reveals (Ephesians 5). When you hide light, eventually that thing which light had the power to reveal will be revealed. This you must understand.
”Therefore consider carefully how you listen…”
And here we come to the crux of the matter. The truth is, we are recipients of light, we are a recipient of illumination as we listen, and the ability to listen and not do [what we have heard] is what we must avoid above everything else in this world. As the book of Matthew 7 tells us, the wise man is the one who heard and did [obeyed what he heard], but the foolish man heard and did not do.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 contains the Shema (as it is referred to by the Hebrews). Hear oh Israel — listen, hear — the Lord your God is one.
The word, Shema, carries with it the inherent meaning that you are to hear and to do. So the Lord Jesus says here, ”Consider carefully how you listen”, or ”how you hear”. Some translations say ”Watch how you hear”. And this plainly means, “Make sure that as you hear, you do.” If you are not careful how you hear it – if you hear it and you don’t do it — you have hidden the light. And eventually it will be revealed that you had received this light and you did not use it. Avoiding the uncomfortable and the inconvenient does not make it go away. Ignoring a centipede that you saw skittering across the floor does not make it die, it does not make it disappear. You may have to hunt it down and terminate it. We must consider how we hear; we must commit ourselves (as James 1 tells us) to hearing and doing, not deceiving ourselves. This is how we must act with the light, this is how we must place the light on a stand. It has to go forth. The Lord Jesus said ”Whatsoever I tell you in secret, declare it from the roof tops, announce it. What I instruct you about, what I whisper in your ear, proclaim it from the rooftops.” This is the word of the Lord to us, and as we commit ourselves to obeying Him in this way, we would have carefully listened.
”Whoever has will be given more…”
Now these are the consequences as this thought comes to an end. The one who has will be given more. The one who has light will be given more light. Hear this: ”Whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them”. This is not the first time the Lord Jesus said this. Those who do not have are often, in truth, not deficient, but rather they are claiming that they do not have. These are the servants in Matthew 25 and Luke 19 who bury what they have; who claim that what they have is so small, so insignificant, and so ‘they have nothing.’ The scriptures said clearly in those parables that the master said ”Take it from him and give to the one who has much more”. And the servants in Luke 19 said, ”But Lord, he has more,” and He answered, ”To him who has, more will be given.” (Luke 19:20-26).
And it seems really strange why the Lord would judge things like that, but it is exactly how He does. So let us walk in fear and trembling, working out our salvation, knowing that all claims of ”I don’t have much light” will result in that little light being lost. That little revelation can slip your mind and you’ll remember that, ”There was a time I used to know something”. Forget the Day of Judgment yet, that’s some way off in the future. Even in your lifetime at this phase, in this age, you will lose the things that you don’t make use of. That which you do not use, you will lose. We are to receive the wisdom of our Master and our Lord. Watch how you listen, be faithful in the little you receive, and it will be multiplied. That which started small will become much. In every sphere of life, this has often been seen in the physical realm. The truth is that it is the same spiritually.
Let’s be faithful in little. Be faithful in that which is committed to you by another. Be faithful with the small light you have, the small ability, the small illumination, and watch the Lord blow on that as you obey.
A practical example of what the Lord said above can be seen in Luke 8 verses 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.”
That says it totally. Those who hear God’s words and put it into practice are the mother and brothers of the Lord Jesus. What is the Lord Jesus? The Lord Jesus is the Light of the world – John 1 — and if you will be His family, you will be of the same nature. Matthew 5 tells us: ”You are the light of the world; a city on a hill is not hidden”. Then it is very obvious that if we are to be His mother and brothers, His relatives, we are supposed to hear and practice, because He hears and practices what His father tells Him to do constantly. The closest to the Lord are those who hear and obey Him the most.
How close are you to the Lord. Is the crowd separating you from Him? Or is it the people of this world? The activities of this world? What is it that comes between you and the Lord Jesus? Ask yourself these questions. Where were you in the first place that led to such a separation? What happened?
We must be careful that we have nothing that allows this interference. We should hear and obey and believe. It is clear in the book of John 7:5 that the brothers of the Lord Jesus did not believe in Him too and that resulted in their being far away from Him, and why it appeared that the Lord Jesus rejected them.
So it is important that we know this. Whether the Lord Jesus arose after speaking in Luke 8:21 and went to them or not, it is very important we know that being close to Him is in the hearing and the doing. Every attempt to claim closeness to the Lord through some physical connection is futile; it is through spiritual obedience, spiritual alignment which comes from obedience. Only in that way can we truly claim closeness and intimacy with the Lord. This is achieved by hearing and putting into practice, shining the light, and saying the same things that He is saying.
Pastor Ita Udoh
3rd December 2020
© God’s Lighthouse 2020