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Two Stories about Lamps

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2020 8:00 am

Two Stories about Lamps

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 23, 2020 8:00 am

Lamps have changed since Jesus day. Weve gone from oil to gas to kerosene to electric, and from incandescent to fluorescent to LED. What hasnt changed is that a lamp still gives light, and hiding one under the bed still doesnt make sense. So a 2000-year-old parable about a lamp still works, and the message stands the test of time.


Lamps have changed since Jesus day we going from oil to gas to kerosene to electric and from incandescent and fluorescent to LED. What hasn't changed is that a lab still gives light and hiding one under the bed still doesn't make sense.

So the 2000 year old parable about a lamp still works and the message stands the test of time.

Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act.

Today's message covers not one but two parables about lamps one is looking Jesus is talking to his disciples and tells them that a sensible person puts a lamp on a stand, rather than under the bed.

The second parable is in Luke 11 Jesus is talking to his enemies this time and tells pretty much the same story about a sensible person putting a lamp on a stand, rather than on the floor under a bowl. Then he tells them about the bringing light into the body and his warning to them is to make sure their bodies are full of light and not darkness. What's that all about. Fortunately, Dr. Boyce is here to shed some light on these two similar stories with two different applications. Let's listen to what he has to say quite a few years ago. Now when many people still traveled by train and were many cars, horses and buggies were still common.

There was a terrible tragedy that took place that the railroad crossing in a rural community, a train was coming and they horse and buggy. The buggy filled with many occupants, all members of one family was crossing the track and the train that was coming did it all the occupants were killed was an inquest after the accident. Lamanna was responsible for guarding that particular crossing and warning travelers solve the approach of trains was called on to testify, and he did. They began to ask him about the situation. That night they asked him if he was there and if he was on duty responded by saying that he was. They said did you know that the train was coming. He said yes it was was coming right on time as it usually did, and when you heard it coming. Did you respond by going out to with your lantern to warn anybody you might be coming down the road.

He said yes that's what he had done. Did you swing your lantern back-and-forth yes. He said I did well that was the heart of the examination. So after a few more preliminary questions.

They let the matter rest. They concluded that this was just one of those inexplicable accidents that sometimes happen. They didn't understand why.

Apparently, there was nobody to blame and that was that. Years later, it came up again in the man's thinking he was dying and as he was lying in his deathbed he was heard muttering over and over again all those poor people. Those poor people friend was with them at the time asking what poor people he was talking about all those poor people in the accident, explains those poor people and a friend tried to reassure him. Friend said but it was a careful examination and all of that, they went into all the details of the accident, you are completely exonerated and the gate man who was dying replied with them was one question they didn't ask me. I didn't ask of my lantern was lit hadn't been let in the death of all those people was the result of our Lord Jesus Christ talked about lanterns actually about lamps, which was the equivalent in his day very concerned about that.

He did it in a number of places we have different stories of lamps or lanterns in the Bible.

The basic one I suppose is that section toward the beginning of the sermon on the Mount where he says you're the light of the world. Everything else was kind of said in that context, people cannot light a lamp and put it under a bowl.

Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house in the same way.

He said let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. That was the basic idea used at each of the gospel and its effect on the lives of his people and the fact that they were to reflect his glory by good works and he said your light of the world, and yet it was enemies are used in a broader way I like to consider here is not that basic teaching the sermon on the mount that we know well, but rather to applications of this image that we find in the form of parables elsewhere in Christ teachings particular, we find them into stories and Luke's gospel first. Luke 816 no one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on the stand so that those who come in can see light then 11 chapter almost the same thing. No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden or under a bowl and study puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the lights, the most interesting thing is that having begun. Each of those two parables in an identical way, he nevertheless applies the imagery differently because the first of these stories has to do with those words disciples and he applies it to them and in the second case is talking not to his disciples's believers buddies talking unbelievers in his point to them is that there to clear up their ability to perceive the light because light is shining and it won't do them any good if spiritually speaking.

Their eyes are blind to say that first story. Our Lord makes at first premise about a lamp and the fact that you put it up high so people can see it then goes on and applies his story this way, for there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed nothing concealed that will not be owner brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Weber has will be given more.

Whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from others or points, and that they were going to get to the real meaning of this parable is realized when Jesus talking about the hidden things in this first he's not talking as we normally think when we hear that idea of hidden things of secret sins and somehow are going to be brought out of the open, but rather of the gospel versus immediately before this are talking about the parable of the sower. The gospel that's going to be shed abroad in the world.

When he begins to apply and he tells them. Be careful how you listen because you have a responsibility if you hear these things for remembering them and passing them on others disease not talking about hidden or secret sins is talking about the proclamation of salvation through himself and what is about to do and he says to his disciples.

Now, take heed, because this gospel which is centered in me and my work is like a light shining in a dark dark place all sorts of lessons that come out of that basic imagery first is that the world is dark world and sinful.

It is not have in itself. The light of God's holiness or truth or any other of his marvelous attributes. It's goes its own way and people trying to help one another in spiritual things. Apart from the illumination, the God provides are like Jesus himself said in another image like blind people leaving blind people just know why the world is in darkness. Once the light of Jesus Christ. We want to do what we want to do. We want to sin as we want to send it on anybody stopping us from what we regard as our pleasures are our right already radar whim and so we go on in darkness our own way apart from the light of God. Years ago there was an article in Time magazine on evil the context of the article ordered been some particularly bad things happening in the Vietnam War. At the time, and time reflected on its growth is speaking in some measure of those who were protesting and who were a bit self-righteous as they did it, Tyrone.

It is the particular heresy of Americans.

They really should of said of mankind in general that they see themselves as potential Saints more than is real life centers. Today's young radicals in particular because this was the gist of the article are almost painfully sensitive to these and other wrongs of their society and they denounce them violently and rightly so, what are the same time, there typically American.

And we should cite typically human in that they failed to place evil in its historic and human perspective to them. Evil is not an irreducible components of man, an inescapable fact of life. Something committed by the older generation are attributable to a particular class or the establishment and irrevocable through love and revolution.

Unfortunately, evil is a component of human nature, and we do have this disposition to darkness rather than light, the saline comes out of this image that Christ was developing and applying to his disciples, is a Jesus is life. The world is in darkness with Jesus as the light is the life of the world is the only one who shown in all truth and holiness without that light being covered over by the dirty film of human sin is the result of it was that they hated him for it and the fact that they hated him and crucified it. We have proof of the fact that he really was the light of the world you know that's really what bothered it was in the Jesus came with a certain set of religious teachings that they didn't like this that he lived in such a way that is life back up his claims. In particular, you live such a holy life that the people in his state, who were supposed to be holy. The religious leaders look absolutely filthy. When they were compared to him as long as Jesus wasn't there. They did all right they polished up their halos and because that was their profession had more time to do it.

They look better in the people around them who had to make a living.

But when Jesus came he was spending any time polishing.

He was just trying and their halos look pretty dirty number years ago I was very young is quite a few years ago and during those days I used to go to camp in Canada at a place called Pioneer Camp north of Toronto and I had a variety of experiences.

All I love it I love it. Even today just thinking about it was great, but not all experiences that you have a cam Margaret and I remember others that I really and bladder behind me. We used to go on overnight trips we used to have to sleep on the ground very rocky up there stone sticking in your back and it rained I remember every time you in an overnight trip in rain lying there in the rain coming down. And all those long nights and how long the night is still your sleeping on the ground with a rock in your back in the rain in your face and I remember trying to think one of the world are we going to do to pass the time billed on goblins and we can get up and go home by one of the things we used to do in those long, long, long, long nights, was play with our flashlights. We were trying to anticipate the we would turn on our lights it would shine them up in the trees when they think of the crazy animals all had enough sense to get in their holes. They were there and then we would shine them in one another's eyes's and eventually we had a little game.

We tried to figure out whose light was brightest, really desperate when you're trying to figure out whose flashlight is brightest and know most of us had these normal to battery jobs that you can buy anywhere but there would always be one smart Alec who came with a flashlight about a yard long he had so many batteries and that the when he showed his light in your eyes.

You thought the sonic go up and he would win the contest.

But you know eventually the sun would come up when the sun did come up those flashlights of the differences between them faded into insignificance pretty quickly out. It's like that with human nature, and it was like that in the time of Christ. There were all these religious people going around shining their lights in one another's eyes and they knew who had three battery spiritual character and who had a five battery spiritual character, and whose light almost got out. Then the Lord Jesus Christ came, he was like the sun when he began to shine all their little brightness is what you can hardly tell they were on and they were exposed as being sinful man just like everybody else around them and they hated him because expose their sin so they said we won't have this man around here.

I said let's get rid of them and they plotted in. Eventually they achieved his death but he was light of the world are going to get from this story is not only that the world is in darkness, and the Jesus is the light there's the point that we are also to be the light that is, those of us who know him who is people who by his grace have been brought to faith in Christ and who will have his Holy Spirit in our hearts delight in the same sense Jesus is the light he's the son only way in which where the light is by letting that Simon Kindle us or by reflecting him to change the metaphor slightly. You know that's why he talks about is his lamps. He didn't say your sons as you said your lamps, a lamp has to be lit Jesus Christ as the one who lights the light of his disciples and they have the privilege of blowing with his light communicated lighter reflecting his light.

As I said a moment ago my favorite of all sermon illustrations I've ever heard preachers are always interested in sermon illustrations, but I suppose one of my favorite right up there at the top is an illustration that Donna Gray Barnhouse used to tell used to take these verses from John 812 954 Jesus said I am the light of the world and contrasted with Matthew five where he said you are the light of the world. He said how can that be who is the light of the world is a Jesus or is it us to be said is both, but not in the same sense and then use this illustration. He said when Jesus and I am light of the world. He was like the sun.

The sun was shining in all its glory. But the time came when he left the world and went back to heaven and his disciples didn't see him anymore and that was like the sun setting and that's why the world is in such darkness today. Jesus Christ is not here, but he left something behind when he left behind was his church of the church was like the moon now even in a dark dark night of the moon is out there are some light, and the point of the illustration is that the moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun as many light in itself by generating any light but it reflects the sun's light.

So even though the sun is in here in the sons and the other side of the earth.

There is some light of the moon reflects it is what we are to be our duty. The central points of this parable in Luke eight is that we are to reflect his life. That is why, as he makes his application.

He says, take heed how you listen to the wares here this gospel that I'm preaching in order that you might come to me and reflect me and this gospel in the fullest way possible is it that brings us to the last point, the world is in darkness. Jesus is the light, we are to be light bearers, but the way in which we bear and communicate that life is by the gospel therefore consider carefully how you listen because whoever has will be given more than is more and more understanding and more effectiveness of the living and proclamation of these proposed. Whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from them. What can happen if you reflect the Lord Jesus Christ and the world will have an effect on the world was similar to the same degree but similar to the effect Lord Jesus Christ had when he was here. Whether enough Christian people doing that. There are changes in society and where Christian people don't do that the world goes on in darkness the darkness, and has as Long Day's journey into night and you reflecting the light of Christ and others who are around you and see the light of Jesus Christ reflecting and you will begin to grow in the knowledge of him where their faith is weak, their faith will become strong, where their understanding is inadequate. Their understanding will grow in fuller and fuller measure where they are afraid to take moral stands by your example. They will be encouraged to take moral stands as they grow. Others will grow in the church will grow if you reflect the character of Christ final thing that will happen is that if you do that which others will be drawn to him because I see Christ in you in Christ is the one who attracts people to himself, not you. You reflect him.

Then they'll see him and they will come to him say how can I do that how can I reflect Jesus you can do it by spending time with God is spent time of the world you reflect world, but if you're going to reflect Christ. You must spend time with Christ, spent time in his word because that's where you find them and that is what he says. He says therefore take heed how you listen. Don't listen with one ear don't listen with both ears plugged don't listen with Your mind.

Give your whole self to it are that these things might fill you in. Change you in your life might be worth something for God in this dark world that's only the first story second stories in Chapter 11 and it is this difference setting. Jesus is talking here about disciples isn't talking here about showing forth his glory begins at the same ways as no one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under the bull study puts it on its stands of those who come in may see the light but when he goes on to apply and he says look your eye is the lamp of your body. That's confusing when your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they're bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it then that the light within you is not darkness therefore of your whole body is full of light and no part of it is dark it will be completely lighted is when the light of a lamp shines on you talking about, that doesn't seem the right way to apply and what is he mean well I think you get your clue here is you do in the first instance from the context was he talking about is in the middle of the crowd in the middle of a crowd. He has a lot of enemies and his enemies are beginning to criticize his teaching and his acts there.

Yes, he's been healing people. He's been doing miracles and what they say. Find verse 14 and following, they say, well, there's no doubt that he's doing miracles but is not by God's power that is doing miracles.

He's doing them by the power of Satan use the word Beelzebub by Beelzebub the prince of demons you driving out demons, and a little further on the same unbelieving crowd begins to plot him and they say in spite of the fact that he's already given them this enormous collection of signs, miracles and signs they say. Give us a side note, most insulting thing you could know God when he's given us some such ample evidence of the truthfulness of the gospel as they prove it to me. He's done it and so he says on this occasion, there's not going to be any additional side. Given that this wicked generation.

Save the sign of the prophet Jonah.

We know because of the way develops that elsewhere. What he means. He bent his Jonah was swallowed up by the fish and it was there three days and three nights and then was released again. So he said it will be in my case I will be crucified and buried elsewhere in three days and three nights in the art that arise again the sign of Jonah's the side of his resurrection. He's dealing with people you see, that are not willing to accept the evidence, but is Larry saying to them in this particular story lesson. The problem is not the lack of evidence God isn't reluctant to provide evidence. He's not requiring you to take a leap of faith in an irrational way. God has given you so much.

Evidence is all around you. It's in my actions and my words and my death to my resurrection.

It's in the Scriptures. It's testified to by John the Baptist. Any possible way you could require evidence of their difficulties and in the evidence. The difficulty is in that you won't see the evidence, and he says listen, that's the explanation of your unbelief to go to blame it on God. Problem is in God, the problems you and he said I have this application for you. The light is shining, but the problem is your eyes your eyes the barrier. The reason why you've never come to faith is not the faith is not been made clear.that you don't know the gospel. The reason you want, is that you prefer to go on living the way you're living and if you do that your sin will take you to hell is a start from that turn from that, the lights and allow the light of God. The surefire soul because you to grow spiritually and in every other way.

Let us pray all our father, we thank you for this teaching of our Lord, where we've misunderstood you to correct our misunderstanding. Help us to forget that which is wrong.

But where we have understood what Jesus is saying, give us grace to obey it to grow. Winans, by his teaching and come to Jesus as Savior right in his name you're listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Reich and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse.

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