Several years ago there was a coal mine collapse in West Virginia. Within the confines of the collapsed mine were trapped seven coal miners. They remained trapped for four days while multiple crews on the surface were working feverishly to reach them. Finally, on the fourth day, they were able to dig into the cavity in which the miners were trapped. The workers and crew alike were rejoicing at the salvation of these men, and there were cries of jubilation as the lights from the lanterns shone on their faces. One worker, rejoicing with his co-workers, yelled out, "Hey! Why doesn't someone turn on a light already?" It wasn't until that very moment that the other six workers realized that their friend had somehow become blinded by the accident. When everything was dark and no one could see, no one could have realized that this man was blind. It wasn't until there was a light shining upon them that the blindness of the one was made evident to all.
Matthew 13 is a series of parables told by Jesus. In each parable, Jesus tells a story to highlight a spiritual truth to His listeners. In verse sixteen He says to His disciples, "Blessed are your eyes because they see." Jesus here is referring to their ability to understand spiritual truths due to the work of the Holy Spirit in illuminating the truth of who God is to them. However, those who do not know the Lord cannot perceive and understand such principles - these principles are completely foreign to them. They have yet to allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth of Scripture to them. This is the reason Jesus gives for teaching the crowds by means of parables: "Though seeing, they do not see." Jesus then goes on to quote from Isaiah 6 and says that they "will keep on seeing but will not perceive." This is always the case with those who do not know the Lord: spiritual truths are foreign to them without the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
My prayer is that the Lord would challenge you in the same way He has challenged me regarding this issue of being light in a dark world. How are you sharing Christ and the truth of who He is with those around you? Do you share it in such a way that it is foreign to them, even incomprehensible and indigestible? Jesus, in this chapter, was talking to a group of farmers and fishermen. Thus, each of these parables was in the context of farming and fishing - concepts and terminology very familiar to them.
It is always and only the ministry of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the work of conviction and illumination in the life of the unbeliever, but it is the biblically mandated role of the Christ-follower to share that Gospel with those around them. Take notes today from Jesus in sharing His message with others: share it creatively and speak to people where they are in life, always pairing biblical truth alongside a story to convey that truth to those who do not know Jesus.
My prayer is that the Lord would make us effective at being light to those around us. As we love and serve the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, may He use each one of those to make us effective witnesses for Him. There is no greater testimony a human being can have than to be used by the Lord to help bring others into a relationship with their Savior.
Each week this blog will be updated with a word for the week from my current studies.