The Light of God’s Word (Luke 8:16-18)
The parable of the Sower was related to the proclamation of God’s Word and the various soils in which it lands. The good soil bears much fruit. That fruit is the multiplication of the Word received.
Jesus stays on the same subject, but transitions to another analogy. God’s Word is not only like a seed, but it’s also like a light. Because men love the darkness, we don’t always appreciate the light. It reveals and exposes what we want to keep hidden. The light of God’s Word illuminates, exposes, and enlightens.
Read Luke 8:16-18
I. God’s Word Illuminates (16)
Lamps are not covered. That would defeat it’s very purpose of providing light. Covering the lamp hurts everyone in the room, including the one who covered it.
Lamps are displayed. The light is meant to benefit those who enter the room. The recipients of the lamp’s light are not defined. The point is that everyone who enters the room sees the light. We don’t hide it from some and display it for others.
When we receive the Word as it is intended to be received, we will delight to share it for the edification of others. “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” is an invitation for everyone to delight in the truth of the gospel. Of course, we know many will reject it, but that shouldn’t hinder our proclamation.
Ryle, “The highest form of selfishness is that of the man who is content to go to heaven alone. The truest charity is to endeavor to share with others every spark of religious light we possess ourselves, and so to hold our own candle that it may give light to everyone around us.”
So the light of God’s Word illuminates the truth for those living in darkness. But this means that they must hear the truth of God’s Word and realize the darkness in which they are living (Rom. 10:14-15).
As the light of God’s Word illuminates it will inevitably expose things people may not even realize are in the darkness.
II. God’s Word Exposes (17)
This verse is the double-negative’s dream. Nothing is hidden that will not become manifest. Nor will any secret not become known. In other words, whatever is hidden will become visible, secrets will become known.
What does Jesus mean? This is similar to the idea that light exposes sin (Jn. 3:19-20). That will be true at the Last Judgment, where we will give an account for every thought, word, and deed.
However, Jesus seems to have a different idea in mind. He uses similar language in a warning against the leaven of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1-3). The false teaching of the Pharisees would be exposed. God will hold all false teaching up against the light of his truth, exposing it as counterfeit.
Biblical preachers should never fear speaking truth that is counter-cultural. The Word of God is expected to expose what is false. Many of the celebrity pastors of our age deny this purpose by minimizing, softening, or even ignoring altogether the “unsavory” parts of Scripture (war, judgment, justice, punishment, sin, hell, etc.). That doesn’t mean we should be so fired up about these themes that we onlypreach them. There is a balance to God’s Word that needs to be maintained by all.
God’s Word corrects every other false worldview, exposing it as another fruitless endeavor to save ourselves. If God’s Word exposes, then we should be enthusiastic about the study of Apologetics. As we learn to defend our faith, particularly confident in the power of God’s Word, our defense will inevitably expose false idols.
Similar to illuminating the truth, God’s Word also enlightens the mind.
III. God’s Word Enlightens (18)
The one who has will get more. The one who does not have, what he thinks he has, will be taken from him. What is he getting/losing? Knowledge. Enlightenment.
The careful hearer is rewarded with knowledge. The knowledgeable continue to pursue and receive more knowledge.
The passive form of these verbs implies that God is rewarding the careful hearer. God continues to grant more fruit to those who patiently pursue it (8:15).
We ought to be like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11).
This is why it’s important to “prepare our hearts” to sit under the preaching of God’s Word. We should crave God’s Word like a newborn craves milk (1 Pt. 2:1-3). Again Ryle suggests that we “take heed” by endeavoring to hear with faith, reverence, and prayer.
The light of God’s Word illuminates the darkness, exposes false teaching, and enlightens the careful hearer.
Let us take care to hear his Word in this way. There are many ways to go about that. No single method of private study is preferred, but the public preaching of the Word is especially to be valued.
WSC 89 “Q: How is the word made effectual to salvation? A: The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
If we believe this, we will come expecting to hear from the Lord. We will come expecting him to speak. We will come in reliance upon the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth, expose anything false we are holding onto, and grant us more understanding (John 15:26-27).
We expect to receive both the conviction of any false teaching or sin that is exposed, as well the comfort of a deeper understanding of the gospel.
Let us carefully hear the Word so that we might faithfully proclaim the Word.
Let us take care to regularly participate in the ordinary means of grace. Let us allow God’s Word to have it’s full impact upon us, so that we might delight to speak of it to everyone. God’s Word illuminates, exposes, and enlightens all who hear it by the power of the Spirit. The light must penetrate us internally before it will shine out externally (Luke 11:33-36).