Luke 8:16
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
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(16) No man, when he hath lighted a candle.—Better, a lamp; and for “a candlestick,” the lampstand. See Notes on Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21. In St. Matthew the proverb comes into the Sermon on the Mount; in St. Mark it occupies a position analogous to that in which it stands here, and this agreement favours the view that it was actually spoken in connection with the interpretation of the parable, as a special application of what had before been stated generally.

Note St. Luke’s more general term, “a vessel,” instead of “the bushel,” as in St. Matthew and St. Mark, and the somewhat wider range of the lamp’s illumining power, not only to those who are “in the house,” but to those also who are in the act of “entering” into it. We may, perhaps, venture to connect the choice of the latter phrase with St. Luke’s personal experience as a convert from heathenism. As such, he had been among those that entered into the house; and as he did so, he had seen the light of the lamp which the Apostles of Christ had lighted.

Luke 8:16-18. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, &c. — See on Matthew 5:15; and Mark 4:21. Nothing is secret, &c. — See on Matthew 10:26. Take heed, therefore, how ye hear. In Mark 4:24, it is, Take heed what you hear. As it is the indispensable duty of all ministers of the Word to take heed what they preach, 1st, That their doctrine be true, that they may not deceive their hearers. 2d, That it be important, that they may not trifle with them: and, 3d, That it be suitable to their state and character; that they rightly divide the word of truth, and give to every description of hearers their portion of meat in due season; so it concerns all hearers to take heed what they hear. They must not take it for granted that what they hear is true, important, and suited to their state and character: but must bring it to the test of the Holy Scriptures, and examine it thereby; and for that purpose, must endeavour to make themselves well acquainted with the Scriptures: and if they find that, according to the divine oracles, the doctrine which they hear answers the above description, they must so take heed what they hear, as to attend to, and consider it well, that they may thoroughly understand and lay it to heart, and that it may have its designed effect upon their spirit and conduct.

But, according to Luke here, our Lord’s caution, inferred from the preceding parable, implied another thing equally important, Take heed how ye hear — 1st, That you do not hear so inattentively, and in such a prayerless state of mind, as not to understand, nor afterward meditate on what your hear, and so receive the seed as by the way-side. See on Matthew 13:19. 2d, That having heard, and understood in a measure what you heard, and being affected thereby, you do not rest in any ineffectual and transient impressions made on your mind, and therefore be offended and fall away in time of trial and temptation; but that the truth may take deep root in your mind, and that you may have root in yourself. See on Matthew 13:20-21. Take heed, 3d, That you guard against the cares of the world, the love of deceitful riches, the vain pleasures of life, and desires after other things; those pernicious weeds, which in so many choke the springing blade, or forming ear, so that no fruit is brought forth to perfection. See on Matthew 13:22. But hear, 1st, In simplicity of intention, with a single eye to the glory of God and your own salvation, present and eternal. 2d, In sincerity of heart, truly and earnestly desiring to discover and put away every error and every sin, and to know and do the whole will of God. 3d, In humility, conscious that you are unworthy to know the great and important things revealed in the gospel, the will of God, and the way of salvation from such great misery to such great happiness, unworthy that God should speak to you by his Son, and his inspired prophets, apostles, and evangelists. 4th, With reverence, remembering it is God’s word, and you are in God’s presence and under God’s eye. 5th, With seriousness, persuaded the truth you hear is no light matter, but for your life, your better and everlasting life. Would you not hear with seriousness the advice of a skilful physician respecting your health, or of a lawyer concerning your property? And will you not hear with equal, nay, with greater seriousness what concerns you infinitely more? 6th, With deep attention: let no sentence, or even word, that is uttered escape you, and fail not afterward seriously to consider what you have heard, and to examine yourself thereby. 7th, With prayer, while hearing, and before and after you hear, for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, Ephesians 1:17 : persuaded the things of God knoweth no man but by the Spirit of God, 2 Corinthians 2:11; 2 Corinthians 2:14. 8th, Hear with faith, firmly believing the certainty and importance of what is taught you from the oracles of God, always remembering the word preached does not profit those who hear it, in whom it is not mixed with faith, Hebrews 4:2. 9th, In love to the truth, though searching and cutting, though disagreeable to your mind, like a bitter medicine to your taste, or giving pain, like a lance which opens an imposthume. 10th, With meekness, with a calm, unruffled, peaceful mind, that what you hear may prove an ingrafted word able to save your soul, James 1:21. Above all, 11th, Hear with a fixed resolution, formed in the strength of grace, to be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, to practise all you hear as far as you see it to be agreeable to the word and will of God. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given. See note on Matthew 13:12; and Mark 4:25.

8:4-21 There are many very needful and excellent rules and cautions for hearing the word, in the parable of the sower, and the application of it. Happy are we, and for ever indebted to free grace, if the same thing that is a parable to others, with which they are only amused, is a plain truth to us, by which we are taught and governed. We ought to take heed of the things that will hinder our profiting by the word we hear; to take heed lest we hear carelessly and slightly, lest we entertain prejudices against the word we hear; and to take heed to our spirits after we have heard the word, lest we lose what we have gained. The gifts we have, will be continued to us or not, as we use them for the glory of God, and the good of our brethren. Nor is it enough not to hold the truth in unrighteousness; we should desire to hold forth the word of life, and to shine, giving light to all around. Great encouragement is given to those who prove themselves faithful hearers of the word, by being doers of the work. Christ owns them as his relations.See the notes at Mark 4:21-25. 16. No man, &c.—(see on [1598]Mt 5:15, of which this is nearly a repetition). See Poole on "Matthew 5:15", See Poole on "Mark 4:21".

No man, when he hath lighted a candle,.... Christ by this, and some proverbial sentences following, observes to his disciples, that though the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven were delivered in parables for the present, that they might not be seen and understood by some; and though he gave to them the explanation of such parables, as of the above, in a private manner; yet his intention was not, that these things should always remain a secret with them; but as they were the lights of the world, they should communicate them to others; and that that light of the Gospel, and the knowledge of the doctrines of it, which he had imparted to them, were not to be retained and concealed in their bosoms, but to be diffused and spread among others: even as no man, when he lights a candle,

covereth it with a vessel; any sort of vessel, as with a bushel; see Gill on Matthew 5:15, or with a bucket, or with a shell, as the Persic version here interprets, rather than translates:

or putteth it under a bed; whether a bed to sleep on, or a couch to sit or lie upon at meals:

but setteth it on a candlestick; a vessel, or instrument made for that use and purpose, to put and hold a candle in:

that they which enter in; to the house, or room, where it is,

may see the light of it, and be enlightened by it: even so it is the will of Christ, that what evangelical light and knowledge he bestows on any persons, they should not hide it, nor their gifts and talents, or keep it back from the view of others, but should hold it forth both in their preaching, and in their practice.

{2} No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

(2) That which every man has received in private he ought to bestow to the use and profit of all men.

Luke 8:16-18. See on Mark 4:21-25; Matthew 5:15; Matthew 10:26; Matthew 13:12. The connection in Luke is substantially the same as in Mark: But if by such explanations as I have now given upon your question (Luke 8:9) I kindle a light for you, you must also let the same shine further, etc. (see on Mark 4:21), and thence follows your obligation (βλέπετε οὖν, Luke 8:18) to listen aright to my teaching. On the repeated occurrence of this saying the remark of Euthymius Zigabenus is sufficient: εἰκὸς δὲ, κατὰ διαφόρους καιροὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα τὸν Χριστὸν εἰπεῖν.

Luke 8:17. καὶ εἰς φαν. ἔλθῃ] a change in the idea. By the future γνωσθήσεται that which is to come is simply asserted as coming to pass; but by the subjunctive (ἔλθῃ) it is in such a way asserted that it leads one to expect it out of the present, and that without ἄν, because it is not conceived of as dependent on a conditioning circumstance (Klotz, ad Devar. p. 158 f.): There is nothing hidden which shall not be known and is not bound to come to publicity. Comp. on the latter clause, Plato, Gorgias, p. 480 C: εἰς τὸ φανερὸν ἄγειν τὸ ἀδίκημα; Thucyd. i. 6. 3, 23. 5.

Luke 8:18. πῶς] χρὴ γὰρ σπουδαίως κ. ἐπιμελῶςἀκροᾶσθαι, Euthymius Zigabenus.

ὃς γὰρ ἄν ἔχῃ κ.τ.λ.] a ground of encouragement. The meaning of the proverbial sayings in this connection is as in Mark 4:25, not as in Matthew 13:12.

ὃ δοκεῖ ἔχειν] even what he fancies he possesses: it is not the liability to loss, but the self-delusion about possession, the fanciful presumption of possession, that is expressed; the μὴ ἔχειν, in fact, occurs when the knowledge has not actually been made a man’s own; a man believes he has it, and the slight insight which he regards as its possession is again lost. It is not reproach against the apostles (Baur, Hilgenfeld), but warning that is conveyed in the form of a general principle. In Luke 19:26 the expression with δοκεῖ would have been inappropriate. But even here the mere ὃ ἔχει, as in Mark 4:25, would have been not only allowable, but even more significant. The δοκεῖ κ.τ.λ. already shows the influence of later reflection.

Luke 8:16-18. Those who have light must let it shine (Matthew 5:15; Matthew 10:26, Mark 4:21-25). Lk. here seems to follow Mk., who brings in at the same point the parable of the lamp, setting forth the duty of those who are initiated into the mysteries of the kingdom to diffuse their light. A most important complement to the doctrine set forth in Luke 8:10, that parables were meant to veil the mysteries of the kingdom.

16-18. How TO USE THE LIGHT.

. a candle] Rather, a lamp.

with a vessel] S.t Luke uses this word as more intelligible to his Gentile readers than “bushel.”

under a bed] Rather, under a couch. The ancient Jews had nothing resembling our bed. They slept on divans, or on mats laid upon the floor, as is still the case in the East. The best comment on this verse is Matthew 5:14; Matthew 5:16, “Ye are the light of the world....Let your light so shine before men, &c.” John the Baptist is compared to ‘a lamp kindled and shining,’ and here the disciples are compared to it. Christ lighted the flame in their souls to be a beacon to all the world.

setteth it on a candlestick] Rather, places it on a lamp-stand.

Luke 8:16. Τὸ φῶς) the light, not the candlestick [or lamp which holds the light, λύχνον]. Man’s nature no more has light of itself [derived from itself], than the material of the candlestick has it. For this light is added from without, that is, by Divine agency, through the word. Therefore the candlestick does not seek to be beheld, as far as itself is concerned, but serves that the light may be beheld: and the good hearer, like the candlestick, always hears in such a way as that he may be of use to as many as possible by his shining: and he himself, in turn, day by day increases in the brightness of his shining.

Verses 16-18. - A solemn conclusion of the Lord's to his exposition of his first great parable. Verse 16. - No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. The meaning of the Lord's saying here is - the disciples must not look on this parable-method of teaching, which from henceforth he purposed frequently to adopt, as mysterious, or as containing anything beyond ordinary human comprehension. The explanation of "the sower," which he had just given them, showed them how really simple and adapted to everyday life his teaching was. "No man," said the Lord, "when he hath lighted the candle of the true knowledge, really wishes to hide it - he rather displays it that men may see the light; and that is what I have been doing for you in my careful explanation of my story." Luke 8:16Candle (λύχνον)

Rev., properly, lamp. See on Mark 4:21.

Candlestick (λυχνίας)

Correctly, as Rev., a stand. See on Matthew 5:15.

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