With the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany now past, Dr. Negley and I will begin a series of devotionals on The Parables of Jesus Christ. We are using a listing that identifies thirty-nine parables Jesus told, as our guide. Some parables are quite short and others are lengthy. Some parables are found in all three of the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Other parables are only found in one gospel while a little more than a quarter of them are found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Some parables may be so familiar to you that you could almost recite them and others may seem new and bid you to delve into them more deeply. We hope you will enjoy the parables and that you may gain some new insights in this popular teaching tool our Lord Jesus Christ used to communicate valuable lessons to those who had ears to hear. Alan
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
This parable is prefaced by a declaration Jesus makes regarding His disciples and their calling. Jesus is addressing His disciples, and that is not limited to the Twelve, but to all then, now, and in the future who will endeavor to follow Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus Christ we are to be the light of the world and to bring light to the world. As followers of Jesus Christ, we can no more conceal the light that is within us than a city on a hill could obscure itself from view. No one lights a lamp and then places it under a bushel basket. It defeats the purpose of lighting the lamp. The purpose of the lamp is to dispel the darkness or at least to permeate it. In the room where the lamp on the lampstand is placed, light reaches to the farthest corners. Jesus then gives instructions to those whom He has declared as “the light of the world.” They are to let their light shine before others. Their light is seen through the good works they do.
If you have worked in our Saturday Soup Kitchen, then you have heard our guests express appreciation for this ministry and they have often followed that praise with “God bless you.” If those who have bagged lunches have been in the office, when hungry people come in looking for a lunch, then they most likely have had a similar experience of hearing words of praise, appreciation and blessing. What we do results in glory being given to God. We cannot eradicate hunger in the world, but we can make a difference here through our Feeding Ministries. That is just one way that we can let our light shine so that others may see our good works and give glory to God.
Dear God, we thank You for the simple, but important lessons we learn from parables Jesus told. Help us always to let our light shine so that others may see our good works and give You the glory. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.