Summary: A sermon on courage and reward.
Introduction: A young boy went with his parents touring around Europe one summer. Part of their tour included visits to the great old cathedrals of the past. As he visited cathedral after cathedral he was impressed the massive stained glass portraits of the disciples and of other saints as he stood in their great empty halls looking through the beautiful stained glass windows.
Upon returning home, he was asked by his Sunday School teacher about holiday on the continent, and what he liked the most. He thought for a moment of those great churches and their grand windows and he said, “I loved the sense of awe and the hugeness of who God must be, and I loved the stained glass windows with their images of the saints.”
“And what is a saint?” his teacher asked. His mind went back to those beautiful windows and he said, “A saint is a person the light shines through.” (Alan Carr, thesermonnotebook.com)
Mar 4:21-25 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? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 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. 25 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."
• Mark uses the same story recorded by other gospel writers (ref. ), but in a different light.
• The picture Jesus was trying to bring to the people’s minds was also recorded in Isaiah.
• Isa 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
• The strong, unavoidable implication Jesus was making was that He was the light of the world.
• Joh 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
• With that as our understanding, let’s look at some things Jesus wanted us to focus on this morning.
I. When Courage Retreats (21).
• Jesus began by asking a simple, logical, reasonable question.
• Do you light a candle and put it under a basket?
• The whole purpose of lighting a candle is to provide light.
• To cover the light would be counter-productive.
• It would be wasteful.
• It reminds me of the blonde who complained to her friend about the neighbors who put their dog outside early in the morning. It stood in the yard and barked and barked.
• She said, “I taught them a lesson. I moved the dog to my back yard, and so now let’s see how they like it.”
• Putting a lit lamp under a bushel (Modios) carries the same logic.
• The word there was a large clay bowl or pot used as a measuring cup to measure dry grain for a meal.
• The early English could only relate the word to a bushel basket, so translations are a little misleading.
• It is more of a clay pot would be more accurate to the original.
• The first thing preachers and teachers bring up is our responsibility to be saints, to let Jesus shine through us, as the story went.
• Mat 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
• This was obvious part of the message Jesus was presenting, as Matthew recorded it clearly.
• It is a message we need to grasp.
• Ill. I fear not the cruelty of mankind that may befall me for my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I fear not the cross. I fear not the sword, nor the rack, nor the flame. I worry not for the hatred, screamed by mobs, for me to silence my testimony. The spear carries not power over my lips to be silent, nor does the arrow, flaming or cold with death.
• But there is something I fear, something that gives my mouth to pause. Something that awakens me in the night when the thought of it simply trickles over the edges of my mind. Something that causes me to sweat and shudder, doubt my courage, question my faith, trust not in my strength and sends me to retreat in silence when perhaps I should speak the name of Christ.