Our chapter in Luke’s gospel today is full of challenging sayings by our Lord. There is great value in meditating on them and seeing the extent to which they apply to our circumstances. The background to many of Christ’s words is the self-righteous attitudes of the religious leaders with whom he contended.

Praise of Jesus’ mother developed in early centuries and led to the cult of Mary worship. Luke records a little incident, which those with such views, must gloss over and ignore. Jesus responds to a woman in the crowd who calls out, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed”. He says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the words of God and keep it” (11:27,28). May we all be blessed for that reason, and recognise the blessing of being able to read all the words of God.

The way that we keep it will result in us being “full of light”! As a result our “eye is healthy” (verse 34) and so our eyes and ears should keep bringing healthy food into our minds. This is essential today as our world is so full of junk food!

Underline the next two verses, “Therefore be careful lest the light (you think you have) be darkness” (verse 35). Let’s absorb the point Jesus makes in the next verse, “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light”. Are you and I “full of light”? It is difficult to maintain such light in a dark world where evil words and deeds multiply. Now the words of David in Psalm 139 are an inspiration with his perception of the light of God in the darkness.

“If I say”, writes David, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you” (verse 12). Read the rest of that Psalm, especially the last 2 verses, and then you will be more dedicated to “be careful lest” the light of God’s word be smothered by the darkness that surrounds us.