Scripture Focus: Luke 8.17-18
17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

Reflection: The Unhidden Agenda
By John Tillman

I still remember the first time I saw the music video for Michael W. Smith’s “Secret Ambition” at a summer youth camp in Glorieta, New Mexico. A Christian music video? We were mesmerized. 

Our generation was still singing, “Video killed the radio star,” and now we saw a high-production-value video of Jesus being killed. The song emphasized that Jesus went to his death purposely and resolutely. It brought the dusty theological concept of the messianic secret to life in a slickly produced video. “Nobody knew his secret ambition was to give his life away.”

The messianic secret is the idea that Jesus kept his true identity and mission a secret from the wider public. This fulfilled prophecy, as Jesus points out in Luke 8.10, but it also made his mission possible. He had to be rejected, betrayed, and crucified. So he hid his teaching in parables and only allowed “those with ears” to hear. He scattered seed on hardened, stony, or thorny ground, knowing it would not survive or sprout.

The parable of seeds and soils can sometimes make us think one’s soil is their destiny and nothing can change it. We can become fatalistic and cynical and doubt the gospel’s power.

However, a related parable follows the parable of the seed and soils. After speaking about closed ears that cannot hear the truth and hardened hearts that cannot receive the seed, Jesus speaks about light and sight.

Christ’s secret ambition was to go to the cross, but now, his public command is to take the light of the gospel to all places. The messianic secret was never meant to stay secret. These hidden things are meant to be discovered, and these concealed things are meant to be revealed.

Jesus hid his victory in the suffering of the cross and his indestructible life in the shroud of the grave. For a time, Jesus was the light hidden in a clay-jar tomb. But now, like Gideon’s torches, the clay pot is shattered, and the light is revealed. (Judges 7.16-20) The cat is out of the bag, and he’s the Lion of Judah.  

What was once the messianic secret is now the unhidden agenda of the gospel. Now is the time when the light of Christ shines openly. Come to him while the light shines.

Lift up his light so that he may draw all humans to himself.

Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is clear, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkened, what darkness that will be! — Matthew 6.22-23

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

​Today’s Readings
Haggai 1 (Listen 2:39)
Luke 8 (Listen 8:09)

​This Weekend’s Readings
Haggai 2 (Listen 3:49), Luke 9 (Listen 8:05)
Zechariah 3 (Listen 3:37), Luke 7 (Listen 5:40)

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Help me, my Lord, to always carry in my body
Your death, so that your life may be revealed
In me daily…