The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Graeme English.

Luke 11: 33-36

33 "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you. "


The words Jesus uses here are at the same time familiar and mystifying. We've heard him talk about light before, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12) - he explains how following him provides a light that leads to life, that we no longer have to scramble around in the dark.

It's a solid metaphor. We all understand what it's like to feel our way around a bedroom at night, avoiding trip hazards and stubbed toes on the way to the bathroom. We all understand the feeling of clarity, freedom and beauty of looking out on a clear blue sky, or the dawn that breaks after a long night. In this case, light is wisdom and beauty that comes from God.

He's also talked about lamps before, too: in Matthew 5 he explains that we shouldn't hide our lamp under a bushel (not sure what that is but ask John Peters, who perhaps uses one to wash his car). But in that case I think he's talking about the light that's within us, as believers, which should be shared with the world.

This time its a bit more nuanced, Jesus tells us that if we see him for what he really is, we are filled with light. But he warns us not to be distracted by other shiny things, that aren't of God, even if they seem attractive at the time.

Recently I've been listening to Kanye West's controversial album (Jesus is King) in which he recognises his own failings of the past: "Cut out all the lights, He the light... Made a left when I should've made a right" in the track Hands On. Whatever you think of him and his recent gospel-inspired album, I think he's got something right here - lets admit where we've been distracted and chase after the light that brings life in all its fullness.

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