Summary: When people reject the light God gives them, they lose that truth and move deeper and deeper into darkness.
We all know people who are not too bright. I’ve decided I don’t pick on Aggies and I don’t pick on Longhorns or even Baylor Bears, so today I guess I’ll make all the Razorback fans mad. There were two Razorbacks who had heard about a $50 all-inclusive cruise just for Razorback fans. So, one of them said, “I’m going to check it out.” He went down there and saw the sign, “Cruise, $50 for Razorback fans.” He walked in, laid down his $50 and the guy hit him over the head with a stick and knocked him out. The next thing he knew, he woke up floating on an inner tube in a farm pond. That was the cruise. Beside him was another Razorback fan. He turned to him and he asked, “Do they serve food on this cruise?” and the guy said, “They didn’t last year.”
We have expressions for people who aren’t very bright. We say, “They aren’t the brightest bulb in the box.” But when it comes to sharing truth, God is no respecter of persons. He gives His truth and light out freely to everyone regardless of their I.Q. It just depends on whether you’re listening or not.
Jesus just finished sharing the parable of how people hear the Word of God. Some have hard hearts, and the Word is stolen. Some have shallow hearts where the Word is starved. Some have crowded hearts where the Word is strangled by worries and the deceitfulness of wealth. But some have open hearts and the Word is multiplied thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold.
Jesus continues to teach about how important it is to really hear God’s Word. This particular passage can be confusing because it sounds similar to something Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “You don’t put a lamp under a bowl, you put it on a stand so everyone can see it.” Then He said, “Let your light shine before men.” In this passage He will use a parable of a lamp, but He isn’t talking about our testimony. He is referring to how the light of His truth can’t be hidden.
Mark 4:21-25. “He said to them, ‘Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. Consider carefully what you hear,’ he continued. ‘With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.’
We know that this is a mini-parable in itself so skip down to Mark 4:33-34:
“With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”
In the Bible, light and truth are two sides of the same coin. They always go together. Our prayer should be the one found in Psalm 43:3 which says, “O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.” (NRSV)
When someone is sworn into a court of law they are asked to swear that they will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I’ve always smiled when I hear the phrase, “the whole truth.” Because no one except God knows “the whole truth.” Only God does. We only know the truth that has been revealed to us at any given time.
God has all the truth. And we’d like to have all of His truth at one time, but He loves us too much to download all His truth into our tiny brains at once. There’s not enough space in the hard drive that is our brain. If truth is light, to receive all of God’s truth at one time would be like looking directly into the sun at noon day. We couldn’t handle it. In fact there is a fascinating poem about this by Georgia Galbraith entitled, “White Revelations.” “To human eyes, too much of light / Is blinding as the blackest night. / And this is so, too, of the mind, / In total ignorance it’s blind. / But more truth than it can absorb; / Will overwhelm the mental orb. / So, lest our vision burn to ashes; / God shows us truth in bits and flashes, / White revelations that the brain; / Can comprehend and yet stay sane.?/ And we, poor fools, demand truth’s noon; / Who scarce can bear its crescent moon.”