“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)
Jesus uses a familiar physical example to explain the spiritual. Just as it seems silly to not display a light for all to see, and to instead cover it or hide it, when we’re made alive, receiving the Light of the World into the good soil of our hearts, we should let Him shine through us.
Take Care Then How You Hear
This followed the Parable of the Sower in which Jesus called out after_, **“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”**_ _(Luke 8:8)_. We who receive the word are accountable for how we hear. If we receive it, and hide it, have we really, truly received it? But if we receive the word truly, letting it penetrate deep into the soil of our hearts, it will sprout with fruit which will affirm the hearing by the good fruit we’ve produced.
Fruit Growing Builds Momentum
When you begin producing fruit as a follower of Jesus, it’s only the beginning of fruit production, and will continue to increase in your by abiding in Jesus. But when it comes to the rocky or thorny soil, what was thought to be received yet never actually took root, won’t end up springing forth fruit and in the end will be cut away.
Being a Christian is not a glamorous lifestyle. It requires a daily walk that responds with a repentant heart, receiving, and regularly bear fruit. If you’re not repentant you won’t receive, if you don’t receive you won’t bear fruit, if you don’t bear fruit there’s no evidence of salvation, and if there’s no evidence of salvation, are you saved?
This isn’t to condemn you by questioning your salvation, but simply to stir your heart to be faithful in taking care of how you hear, because it has a profound effect on you. The result of how you hear is either being given more or the taking away of what you thought you had.
Not the Root, But Still the Fruit
James teaches us this same concept. Not that works are the be all end all and works certainly don’t earn salvation, but while works aren’t the root of our salvation, they are the fruit of it. And if we’re finding ourselves hiding our lights, afraid to let them shine, how can we expect God to give us more stands in new places and opportunities in which to place our lamps if we aren’t faithful with the ones we already have?
In paraphrasing what Matthew Henry said in his commentary - Be faithful hearers of the word by being doers of the work.
What it comes down to is that we are all accountable not only to let our lights shine bright for Jesus, but to also be hearers and doers of the word we receive. If we only shine forth a light without hearing and doing, we will simply become like the religious Pharisees in which Jesus called whitewashed tombs.
Today, if you have an ear to hear – take care then how you hear and be a faithful hearer of the word by being a doer of the work.