Luke / chapter 8 (read the chapter)
I have a number of atheist friends whom I enjoy discussing life with from time to time. All of them know that I believe in God—not just that He exists, but that He is a deeply personal God who is interested in having a relationship with us. More than one of my atheist friends has disclosed that the reason they don’t believe in God is because they’ve never encountered Him or seen any real evidence that He exists. And I believe them. But I always tell them that if God exists and if He is as He is portrayed in the pages of Scripture, they will one day encounter Him because He will, in some way, reveal Himself to them.
This very concept struck me in an odd way in the middle of this chapter of Luke. I found a surprise in these verses: “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.” (vs 16-18)
As I was reading these verses, I came to the part about how everything that is hidden will be disclosed and brought out into the open. And then, the next sentence caught me off guard. I was expecting to read: Therefore consider carefully how you talk. Instead, I read: Therefore consider carefully how you listen.
At first, that made no sense to me. But as I went back and read it again in the context of what Jesus had been discussing immediately prior—the word of God being scattered like seed—it made perfect sense. Jesus wasn’t trying to warn His disciples that everything they say and do was going to be revealed someday. Instead, He was promising them that He Himself was going to be fully revealed to them someday. And, as with any personal revelation, that happens over a period of time in the course of a relationship.
This is how we are saved. It is not about saying the right things or even doing the right things. It’s about knowing the right Person. And that knowing comes by listening and hearing and responding.
So, consider carefully how you listen, because if God exists and if He is as He is portrayed in the pages of Scripture, He will reveal Himself to you. He knows you intimately, and He wants you to know Him just as fully. He wants to have a relationship with you—the kind you can’t have with anybody else on the face of the earth, because there is nobody on the face of the earth who is as accepting, patient, and loyal as He is.
Jesus was right when He said that no one lights a lamp and hides it, and God doesn’t do that either. If He is the Light of the World, then His light is headed for you. Consider that revelation carefully, and (if I may offer a word of advice), respond to it. You’ll never know a better, more satisfying relationship in this life.