Still life is so serene! Don’t you love the early morning hours when sunlight filtering through the kitchen window creates long shadows and illuminates the darkness? “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You” (Psalm 63:1, NKJV). There is nothing sweeter to me than meditating on the Bible and praying first thing every morning . . . listening for God’s voice as He speaks into my heart. It’s like a new sunrise daily that banishes the darkness and floods my soul with light.
“With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness ” (Isaiah 26:9, NKJV). Just as we often seek God’s wisdom to lighten our way, in our passage for today (see below), we’re told that a great multitude of people gathered to hear Jesus speak. Before the age of microphones, I’m sure it would have been difficult for all of them to hear what he had to say without really straining to listen, don’t you think?
But, Jesus didn’t want people to simply hear the words he spoke, Jesus commanded them to “Pay attention to what you hear” (Mark 4:24). There’s a big difference between “hearing” and “listening,” right? I used to wonder if some of my children even heard what I was saying when they didn’t respond to me, but I soon realized that about 98% of the time, they “heard,” they simply didn’t “heed!” In this passage, Jesus urges us to pay attention to what we hear in the dark and become lights to brighten the way for others. Are you in the dark, or walking in the light?
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Proverbs 4:18, ESV, but I really love the KJV better: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day“).
“If your whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle does give you light” (Luke 11:36).
“He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light” (John 5:35; Jesus was speaking of John the Baptist in this verse, but what a commendation).
*Texts for today’s meditation: Luke 8:15-18, “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. 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.” Mark 4:21-25; 33-34, “And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’ And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away‘ . . . With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.“