Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God that he has chosen and called us to be lights to the world. That, as we shine because of our relationship with him, those around us will see our good works and glorify him who is our Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16,17.
Acknowledge the sin of becoming so caught up with ourselves that we fail to understand the phenomenal privilege we have of sharing the light of the work of the gospel in our lives with others. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to delight in this privilege.
Please read Luke 8:16-21 – Life with Jesus.
Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you in your understanding of his Word.
V16. Let your light shine.
The purpose of lighting is to give light. The idea, therefore, of putting a light source, either into something that encloses it or under a bed where it will not be seen, makes no sense. Jesus draws the obvious conclusion – anyone who has a light puts it on a stand, elevated so that it will fulfil its purpose of casting the light emanating from it as far as possible. The point is simple – live your life as a believer in, and follower of, the Lord Jesus Christ openly and honestly. Be who you say you are, so that others may see and be drawn to Christ.
V17. It does two things.
What is Jesus saying in this statement; what is he getting at in this verse? How does this relate to the call to live before men, shining the light of the truth into their lives? The point is that there is coming a day when the people in your family, at your work, those whom you interact with regularly, will have the reality of their choices and decisions revealed to them. It is inescapable. Everything in everyone's heart and life will be made known on that day. There will be no secret hiding place. Nowhere where that thought can be tucked away for no one else to see. It will all be out there. Even today, we know how the secrets of men, long-held close to themselves, come out, maybe after decades. So, what will it be like when the infinite, perfect knowledge of God unfurls what men have even forgotten they had tucked away? Our role, through the simplicity of our lives, lived before others, is to bring the good news of the gospel to them. But it is also to expose the dark and hidden things of the world, and so begins the judgment of God upon their lives. A judgment that will have its full manifestation on the day that all things are revealed. So, we are both an instrument of salvation and judgment in the hand of God, that is if we are prepared to let our light shine before the watching world.
I dealt with verse 18 on Friday, so we will move on.
V19. Who are Jesus's mother and brothers?
The event cited in this verse is recorded in Matthew 12:46-50, and Mark 3:31-35, as taking place before, and not after, the parable of the sower. Luke is also more concise in the information he gives us, choosing to concentrate on what Jesus says.
As Jesus is teaching, who comes to see him? Luke doesn't tell us why his mother and brothers come to see him, but Mark does. He tells us that they thought that he had gone mad, literally that he was "out of his mind", Mark 3:21. But there is a problem, and it is a problem that is supporting, even compounding their perception. They think Jesus has gone mad because he is allowing himself to be surrounded by crowds to the point where he is not even getting time to eat. Mark 3:20. And now, here they are being prevented from getting to see him because of the crowd engulfing him. Word does get to Jesus that his mother and brothers are outside wanting to see him. Does 'outside' mean that he is in his home, or simply that they are on the exterior of the crowd? None of the gospels make it clear.
So, we have an innocuous little event, albeit significant to Jesus’ family, but one which he will be able to sort out with a reassuring smile and a few carefully chosen words. Hardly worth putting into the Bible. Except that's not what happens. How does Jesus respond? For a start, he doesn't leave what he is doing to go out and greet his mother and brothers. Their collective sense of protection towards him is quickly shattered by his failure to show. It is not that he is being disrespectful, or unloving towards his mother. That is clearly not the case, given the subsequent events at the Cross, John 19:26,27. The point is, he is no one's 'possession', except for the Father's in heaven, in the sense of being told what to do, and when to do it.
In responding as he does, Jesus communicates no sense of impatience. He does not try to muddle his way through in an attempt to protect everyone's feelings. His words are simple, clear, straightforward, to the point. Who are my mother and brothers? The unasked question that Jesus answers. For Jesus, they are those "who hear the word of God and do it." That is how close we are to Jesus when we walk in the ways of God. All who are truly in Christ and delight in him are his family, 'members of the household of God' as Paul calls it, Ephesians 2:19. To do the will/Word of God is to believe it; it is to own it in one's heart and then live it out in one's life. This, of course, requires a work of grace in our lives, and a daily turning to God for his strength. But it is an astonishing truth when one stops and thinks about it, that Jesus regards us as part of his immediate family.
A Psalm to Sing.
Psalm 122A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung. Sing with joy in your heart to God.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,"
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 56 - Which is the reason attached to the third commandment?
Answer - The reason attached to the third commandment is that though the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the LORD your God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgement
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God that he predestined us before the foundation of the world to be adopted within his household.
Thank God for all the blessings that flow from our adoption. For our good and the praise of God's glorious Name.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley