21 And he said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand?
22 For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
24 And he said to them, "Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.
25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
What does the image of light and a lamp tell us about God's kingdom? Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today.
They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood "light" as an expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God.
In his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105). God's grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, but it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace.
Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God's kingdom.
In fact, our mission is to be light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception.
Jesus remarks that nothing can remain hidden or secret. We can try to hide things from others, from ourselves, and from God.
How tempting to shut our eyes from the consequences of our sinful ways and bad habits, even when we know what those consequences are.
And how tempting to hide them from others and even from God. But, nonetheless, everything is known to God who sees all.
There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God's light and who seek this truth.
Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God's light?