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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1059. Jesus’ teaching is light that transforms (20/5/24)

This week, in our devotionals, we are focussing on Luke 11:33 - 12:3. Today, again, we see Jesus repeating the importance of listening to His Word, which He likens to putting a light on a stand. 

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.’ (Luke 11:33) 

Lesson: Jesus’ teaching - the whole Bible - is light for our lives, so let’s ensure that we allow it to shine onto us so that it can shine from us. 


You can listen to this devotional at:



Jesus often uses everyday familiar illustrations in order to help the people to understand and remain focussed on His teachings. Jesus, unlike us, is not tempted to try to look impressive; He doesn’t use unnecessary complex teaching, because He wants everyone to be able to understand and, if they have ears to hear, respond to Him.  This reminds us of what we read and studied earlier in Luke:


‘“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)

This parable is about how we hear God’s word, put it into practice and share it with others. He grabs attention by showing how stupid it would be to light a lamp but hide it or put it under a bowl. As the people listened, their imaginations would have been employed so that the teaching would stick in their memory. In our day, we might say something like: no-one switches on the light only to walk around the house with a blindfold on! 


He teaches that, as would be obvious to those listening, that one puts a lamp on a stand so as to allow its light to do its job. He’s teaching that as a lamp needs to be used in the correct way, so His teaching - the Bible - needs to be used in the correct way; it needs to be listened to and read prayerfully with reflection and response. 


This is not, firstly, about evangelism and allowing our light to shine on those around us. Rather, this is about allowing Jesus’ light, through His teaching, to shine on us. Jesus and His Word are the light that we need to raise up and honour so as to be transformed by The Spirit working in His Word. Each of us, personally, need to be able to say:

‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’ (Psalm 119:105) 

And, following on from this personal and church-community devotion, others will ‘see the light’ in us; an individual or church that is letting the light of the gospel and Jesus’ words shine on them will have words and character that reflect Jesus to others. 


Response

Jesus’ teaching - the whole Bible - is light for our lives, so let’s ensure that we allow it to shine onto us. Those who are enlightened and transformed by Jesus’ Word will, in turn, show His light to those around them.   

Let’s not miss how this parable follows on from what Jesus had said previously; in verses 29-33, Jesus had challenged His listeners to be like ‘The Queen of the South’ and the Ninevites, who valued and responded to God’s words. Here, Jesus is reinforcing this idea through this parable of putting a light on a stand. The challenge is, will we be like ‘The Queen of the South’ who travelled many miles to hear God’s wisdom from Solomon? And will we be like those in Nineveh who repented when they heard God’s words through Jonah? Both to these examples, we could say, allowed the light of God’s Word to shine on them and so will we?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday was based upon Jesus’ teaching from Luke 11:33-12:3. Here, again, Jesus is teaching us the importance of loving His Word - His voice - which He likens to raising up a light so that it can shine on us and then, in turn, shine from us.


Please read Luke 11:33-36, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • 11:33 - In what ways can we put the light of the gospel and God’s Word ‘on a stand’ in our own lives?

  • 11:34 - What does it mean to have ‘healthy eyes’ and what will this lead to?

  • 11:35 - What are we to ‘see to’ and how do you do this? 

  • SIV - 11:36 - What will the enlightening of the gospel and God’s Word mean for our involvement in Jesus’ mission? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • SIV - Spend some time together talking and praying about who and how you are seeking to bring your community to Jesus. 

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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