A dimly lit room, a solitary figure holding a candle, casting long shadows on the walls. Symbolizing the truth and revelation that will eventually expose hidden deeds, as promised in the biblical verse.

What Does The Bible Verse ‘What Is Done In The Dark Will Come To Light’ Mean?

The bible verse ‘what is done in the dark will come to light’ carries a profound meaning – our secret sins and misdeeds cannot remain hidden forever. Eventually, the truth will be revealed, whether in this life or the next.

If you’re short on time, here’s the essence of this biblical verse: Evil deeds that people try to hide will inevitably be exposed by the light of truth, if not in this world then in the world to come.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the origin, context, and significance of this insightful verse. We will analyze what ‘darkness’ symbolizes, explain why things done in secret cannot stay secret forever, and discuss the spiritual and practical implications of this principle.

The Origin and Context of the Verse

The Biblical Source and Wording

The verse “What is done in the dark will come to light” comes from Luke 12:2 in the Bible. The full verse states: “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”

This teaches that even secrets done in darkness or private will eventually be brought to light and made public.

The Surrounding Passage and Story

In Luke 12, Jesus was teaching large crowds and gave warnings to his disciples about hypocrisy and fearing God rather than men. He used the metaphor of darkness versus light to illustrate that deeds and motives done in secrecy will someday come to public knowledge.

This was to exhort honesty, sincerity, and wholesomeness since nothing can ultimately be hidden from God.

The broader context shows Jesus teaching on honesty, integrity, courage, trust in God’s care, generosity, and preparedness in light of his second coming and the final judgment before God. The verse on hidden things being brought to light served as part of Jesus’ emphasis on integrity and good deeds, rather than hypocrisy or secret vices.

The Symbolic Meaning of Light and Darkness

Darkness as Evil, Deception, and Concealment

In the Bible, darkness often symbolizes evil, sin, and deception. It is associated with the powers of evil that seek to oppose God’s light and truth. For example, in John 3:19 it says, “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

Darkness conceals sinful behavior and motives. It represents ignorance of God’s truth.

The prince of darkness is Satan, who deceives people and leads them into sin (2 Corinthians 4:4). His kingdom operates in the dark, hidden from the light. Evil cannot stand up under the revelation of God’s light and judgment.

Darkness is also used to describe Sheol, the realm of the dead, and hell, the place of eternal punishment for the wicked (Psalm 143:3; Jude 1:13). These are places separated from God’s presence and filled with evil.

Light as Truth, Revelation, and Judgment

In contrast to darkness, light in the Bible symbolizes God’s purity, wisdom, and revelation. It represents all that is good, holy, and true. God is the source of light (James 1:17). Jesus called Himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12).

The Word of God is compared to a lamp that shines light on the darkness (Psalm 119:105). God’s truth exposes and judges sin. His Word guides people out of deception into the light of His salvation (Acts 26:18).

At creation, God commanded light to shine in the darkness (Genesis 1:3). And He promises to be a light for those who follow Him (Isaiah 42:6). God wants us to walk in His light rather than the darkness (1 John 1:7).

One day the Lord will return to earth and “night will be no more” (Revelation 22:5). The new Jerusalem will have no need for sun or moon because God’s glory will give it light (Revelation 21:23). All darkness and deception will be banished forever.

Why the Truth Always Comes to Light

The Nature of Truth

Truth, in its essence, is that which conforms to reality. It is an accurate representation of facts and events. The old adage goes “truth will out” – meaning that ultimately, the real truth behind any story or situation will be revealed. There are several reasons why this tends to happen.

First, truth has an inherent power and weight that falsehoods lack. Lies require constant guarding and protection, while the truth often stands on its own. Over time, maintaining deceptions can become an incredible burden, whereas being truthful brings freedom.

As difficult truths come to light, there can be initial shock, anger and resistance. But revealing the truth starts a healing process built on honesty rather than illusions.

The Power of Conscience and Judgment

Second, all human beings have an inner conscience and sense of morality. People know instinctively when something feels wrong or false. According to ethicsnonprofit.org, over 83% of survey respondents said that following one’s conscience leads to good results. When others perpetuate lies, our conscience judges them negatively.

Those telling the lies also have pangs of conscience and guilt haunting them inwardly.

These inner turmoil and pangs act as strong motivations to bring hidden deeds out into the open. People yearn for truth and transparency to clear their conscience. Judgment by others and self-judgment when participating in evils pushes people towards revealing truths, no matter how painful or disruptive that may be initially.

The Sovereignty of God

For religious individuals, a third reason that truths tend to surface is spiritual in nature – the sovereignty of God over all things. Most faiths have some concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator who is aware of all human thoughts, words and deeds, both good and evil.

According to a Pew Research study in 2018, over 80% of Americans believe in God or some higher power.CompellingTruth.org, an apologetics website, states that “God alone sees the entire sweep of history and knows the truth about all people and all events. “ For those with religious faith, there is an assurance that ultimately God’s perfect judgment and justice will prevail.

Any secrets or sins will eventually come into the full light of truth.

This divine oversight serves as a check on human tendency towards deception and corruption. It prompts even non-believers to recognize that their actions and character matter greatly and will be revealed as either upright or unethical.

The belief in final divine accountability motivates truth-telling in the present.

Spiritual and Practical Implications

Warning Against Hypocrisy and Hidden Sin

This Bible verse serves as a sobering warning that hypocrisy, deceit, and hidden sins will eventually be exposed by God (“What is done in the dark will come to light”). Though someone may fool others or even themselves for a season, God sees the secret things done in darkness and will make all things known in His timing (Luke 8:17).

This applies both to believers who are hiding sin or pretending to be someone they’re not, as well as nonbelievers living a lie.

For example, in Matthew 23, Jesus strongly condemns religious hypocrites who put on an outward show of righteousness but inwardly are full of sin and self-indulgence. He makes clear that their wickedness done in secret cannot remain hidden forever.

Ultimately on judgment day, all hypocrisy will be laid bare before God (Romans 2:16).

Encouragement to Live Authentically

On a positive note, this concept can encourage believers to live authentic, genuine lives that are fully known before God. Since secrets and masks will eventually fall away, it is futile and foolish to hide parts of ourselves from God or pretend to be someone we’re not.

We can live transparently and walk in the light, with nothing to fear since Christ’s blood has covered our sins (1 John 1:7).

This idea can also motivate Christians to nurture their relationship with God through prayer, Scripture, and spiritual disciplines, allowing the Spirit to illuminate areas of sin or hypocrisy in their hearts so they can repent and find forgiveness, grace, and freedom.

Overall, living openly and honestly before God leads to greater spiritual health, wholeness, and intimacy with Him.

Motivation for Truth and Justice

On a societal level, the idea that dark deeds will ultimately be revealed can promote justice, accountability, and openness among institutions and leadership. For example, discoveries like the Watergate scandalexposed secret corruption at the highest levels of government.

And ongoing advocacy work by organizations like the Transparency International anti-corruption group motivate and equip ordinary citizens to fight bribery and opacity.

Likewise in personal relationships, the hope is that deceptive behavior done in secret can still come to light through confession or discovery, enabling the truth to set people free. Though justice is not always fully served in this lifetime, Scripture teaches all moral accounts will ultimately be settled by God, the righteous judge (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Examples Throughout History

There are many famous examples through history that illustrate how things that are done in secret eventually come to light. A few notable cases include:

The Watergate Scandal

In the early 1970s, five men were caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel in Washington D.C. This set off the huge Watergate scandal which eventually exposed countless dirty secrets by the Nixon administration and led all the way up to the president himself.

What seemed like a small crime revealed layers upon layers of deception that had been festering in the dark.


Enron corporation was once a tremendously successful company that completely collapsed in 2001 when its dubious accounting practices and corporate corruption were brought into the spotlight. The staggering $74 billion fraud had been cleverly concealed for years using shady offshore entities and bewilderingly complex transactions.

But eventually the misconduct was laid bare for all to see.

The Uncovering of Abuses Within the Catholic Church

For a long time, incidents of abuse among clergy within the Catholic church were covered up and handled internally. But as reporting on these abuses by courageous victims increased, the public outcry led to multiple major investigations that shook the worldwide institution.

Appalling statistics were revealed indicating over 3,000 credible abuse accusations just within the US alone over a 50 year period. Though concealed from public eyes for decades, the misconduct was dragged into the light.

While unsettling, these examples powerfully demonstrate the saying’s central truth. Deeds that leaders attempt to hide will find a way, sooner or later, to emerge from the darkness.


The profound bible verse ‘what is done in the dark will come to light’ conveys an eternal principle – evil cannot remain hidden forever. Though people may conceal their misdeeds for a season, the light of truth and justice will ultimately expose their sins.

This biblical insight offers a warning, an encouragement, and a spark of motivation. It warns us not to harbor hidden sins, encourages us to live authentically, and motivates the pursuit of truth and justice in society.

While the desire to hide wrongdoing may be natural, this verse promises that secret deeds have a way of coming to the light. Rather than cover up darkness, we do well to walk in the light.

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